Today I’ll point out some of the popular blogging platforms at your disposal. What a great day today, BTW, it’s 12-12-12!
There are numerous blogging platforms – some are free and some has different monthly plans. Some are hosted and managed by the provider and some you’ll host yourself.
One or the other platform can better suite your requirement based on what you need and for what purpose. I will talk about self-hosted blogging platforms in my next post but for now let me discuss the popular free blogging platforms.
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Some Popular Blogging Platform
You want to create your own blog, but don’t wish to get into the hassles of hosting, developing and deploying it yourself, you’ll consider any of the free blogging platforms mentioned below. Such services offer a plethora of features.
For the security and success of your blog, I recommend sticking to well known and reputable online blogging services.
WordPress.com is perhaps the most popular blogging platform with its feature-rich blogging service. It uses the popular open source web software WordPress. The free version of wordpress.com offers:
- Traffic stats – who are visiting your blog?
- Anti-Spam Filters – one of the most irritating problem in blogging.
- SEO – heavy load is already lifted
- Themes – Your blog has its own face
- Plugins – extend your blog to perform more tasks
- 3GB storage space – write as much as you want
However, you need to opt for their premium version for:
- Custom domains – your blog has your own name
- Upgraded web hosting resources – need more than simply publishing posts?
Whether you’re an expert blogger or a beginner, this ultimate blogging platform is a safe bet.
Click the link on title above to visit WordPress.com.
Another free blogging platform from the Internet Giant – Google! Blogger is often praised for its easy user interface to administer your blog and it is already integrated with your Google account.
Blogger.com offers for free:
- Custom domains – without paying a cent.
- Template Designer – shape your blog’s face (however, can’t compare with WordPress themes)
- No-nonsense interface – Administer your blog conveniently
- Adsense Integration – make money blogging
Blog.com is another popular blogging platform. This also uses the popular open source web software WordPress.
The free version of blog.com offers:
- Offers many beautiful premium themes – you had to pay for themes otherwise.
- Advanced plugins that one can expect only on a self-hosted blog.
- 2GB of free storage space – will you need more?
The really bad thing about blog.com is that its free service displays more ads as compared to WordPress.com. You need to opt for paid upgrades to remove the advertisements.
Apart from above three most popular blogging platform there are numerous others to blow some air. I’m listing some of them here and wish you check them out:
- TypePad (free for 14 days only)
- Jux: come up with your own microblogging portal
- LiveJournal: The LJ with blogging and social networking
- Weebly: Awesome with features such as maps, audio/video, slideshows, image galleries, drag and drop interface
- BlogDrive: WordPress powered free blogging platform that lets you to choose different sub-domains
- KidBlog: Great for educational blogging. Are you a teacher or student?
- FreeBlogit: WordPress Powered platform with incredible free themes.
- Blogetery: WordPress powered platform that offers custom domain, huge plugins and themes to choose from.
I know here are a lot of terms to confuse you and I’ve not explained any of them yet. Let me define a few of them so that it will be easy going. You can comment below if you still don’t understand any.
A few terms to learn
Free Blogging Platform: By this term I mean the service that lets you create an account so that you can build your own blog. All the names I mentioned above are free blogging platforms.
Hosting: To display your blog on browser you need to create a lot of files. There are files containing your text, some other files of your images, audio and video files and so on. These files must be stored on some computer (web server) and served whenever any user enters your blog address or clicks on link that opens your blog. The service of storing your files and serving when required is known as hosting.
In case of self hosted blogs (that I will talk in next post) you must purchase hosting service from companies like HostGator, BlueHost, CheapHost etc. For the free blogging platform, the provider themselves host your files. So, can concentrate on creating and sharing your content without the hassle of managing files.
Traffic Stats: The traffic status. It is a report generated based on people who visit your blog. You can learn how many people are visiting your blog, from which country, what posts in your blog are more popular compared to others and so on.
Spam comment: This is kind of something we hate. You have an awesome blog but some nasty people use software to comment automatically, that’s too completely irrelevant! All their purpose is to get a link from your blog. This kind of comment is infamous as spam comment.
Anti-Spam: There are some tools and mechanisms developed to stop the spammers. These tools are known as Anti-Spam. They are very important to the health of your blog and your reader’s experience.
SEO: The abbreviated form of Search Engine Optimization. SEO means to perform some actions and optimize the settings such that it will be easier for search engines to find and index your blogs and posts. Search engines rank every page based on the keywords in them. The tasks related to attempt to increase ranking of pages is also known as SEO.
Themes: To give the look and feel of a blog consistent, we use themes. Themes determine how the blog looks and what appears where. We’ll be playing with a lot of themes during the course.
Plugins: The blogging platform provides basic and common functionality. Depending upon your requirement you should expand the functionality to meet your needs. You can add more plugins to make your blog able to do more things. I’ll point you to some awesome and essential plugins as well as some truly great plugins that increase your efficiency.
Custom Domain: You need a name for your blog so that the readers can type it in address bar of browser to view your blog. For example you can type bivori.com in address bar to view my blog. This term ‘bivori.com’ is the domain name of my blog.
Free blogging platform lets you specify your blog name and the domain name will be constructed as yourblog.platformDomain.com. This kind of domain inside another domain name is known as Subdomain.
Subdomains are okay as a means to access your blog. But, having your own name has a number of benefits over subdomains. I will make it clearer in my coming posts.
You can buy your own domain names from domain registrars like Godaddy, DomainRightNow and so on.
Now, custom domain means the blogging platform lets you use your purchased domain name for your blog hosted in that platform. All services do not allow you to add custom domain for free but there are some who allow.
Adsense: Google’s Ad display program. After you have your own blog, you can apply to join Adsense. When you get green signal, you can get Ad Codes to paste in your blog so that Adsense Ads are displayed on your blog. You’ll earn some money when your readers click on those Ads.
Related Books on Amazon
Okay! You’ve got a lot of information to start with. Now go to Blog.com and create your first blog there and comment below with address of your blog. I know, it won’t be an awesome blog right now. We still have to learn a lot, but with the information you’ve got, you should be able to start with.
Don’t be overly conscious about the look and contents of your blog but try to check, which features are provided and if you can use them. Create your second and third blog in other providers too!
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