Do you think that starting a blog is challenging? It’s not. I promise you that this tutorial will be simple, brief and you will know exactly how to start a blog and what it requires.
You need three basic things on the blog itself:
- CMS or blogging platform – via which you can add content (text, images, video)
- domain – through it people find you on the Internet
- webhosting – the space where your blog will be stored
Choosing a blogging platform or CMS
Blogging uses so-called. CMS (content management system), which are content management systems or online blogging platforms.
There are a few free CMSs that are ideal for bloggers (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla…) that just need to upload to your hosting. But it’s not difficult. Simple one-click installation or even pre-installation when hosting is a common practice. For example, Blogger or Medium is online from online blog platforms, and you can also find online blogging / eshop applications with a blog section (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Webnode…). Last but not least, it is also possible to program your own CMS.
The possibilities are really more than enough. Some look appealing, but not all the gold that flickeres. How to choose the best possible solution?
WordPress.org – the best choice for the vast majority of people
Not only my, but also the preference of many bloggers, is an open source WordPress solution with its own domain and web hosting (Attention! No WordPress.com), because it is easy to learn, it is regularly updated, you can do a lot without programming and thanks to WordPress plugin you will add almost any functionality. You buy WordPress templates and page designs for a few dozen euros or a little more expensive (eg Divi) allows you to pick up the web (more or less) than you want without paying a programmer. Last but not least, it is easy to optimize for search engines and has no problem with advanced features that you will need later to grow your site.
If you would like to sell via WordPress or create an eshop, you can easily launch online sales with WooCommerce.
If you would like to make money on blog posts in other ways, WordPress will let you do it without any problems. You can offer your own services, ad space or set up Adsense with a few clicks.
However, even WordPress has its limits and may not suit everyone, whether for blog or eshop. To keep him from growing up, he certainly won’t pay for big ehops with several thousand items. If you have a customized website / eshop, also program a blog section based on best practices, such as here, here or here. Also, it may not be suitable for people who really need the easiest solution in which they click out a blog online, add some text and picture and don’t need more.
A good choice for starting bloggers is also the Blogger platform that you can have within your Google Account. You share the web hosting and blog space with other Google apps you use. You can also have a blog on your own domain by registering with one of the registrars. The downside is limited functionality and design features, as the entire service is free. The ability to sell and monetize your blog is greatly reduced in this solution. Just linking to Google Adsense is simple, as Blogger itself is a product from Google.
It is based on the same system as WordPress.org but with the difference that you do not have it on your own hosting but as a subscription service. It’s good if you start and need something simple. The disadvantage is that you get the ability to have your own domain, blog without ads, or the ability to sell through a site in paid versions that aren’t the cheapest compared to the cost of regular hosting where you could install WordPress for free. The broadest sales option has a version of 25 euros / month, which is compared to WordPress at its own hosting costing several times higher.
It is also tempting to have a blog free of charge through the subdomain vasnazov.wordpress.com, which you can move to it after purchasing the domain. But it has a hook – it would cost you another $ 13 a year to redirect the original domain to a new one.
It is one of the most popular blogging and personalization solutions due to its simplicity and editing capabilities. You can also create your own eshop on it. The disadvantage is, as is the case with such platforms, the gradually increasing price for additional functions. Even with the cheapest $ 4.50 / month plan, you need to show a Wix ad.
Important tip: The three blogging platforms mentioned above have one disadvantage: the transition to another platform makes the process more complex. Such a situation may occur over time when the system you are currently using no longer suits you and you will think about how to move your previous work elsewhere so that you will not lose everything so far. Each platform is essentially a standalone system that is not designed to “seamlessly” communicate with another competing platform.
You also need to be careful to register your domain via the blogging platforms mentioned above. Although you can get it for the first year for free, but extending the domain for the next year is usually much more expensive than with regular domain registrars. For example, a .com domain stands for wordpress.com 18 euros. For British registrars you normally have it for ± 10 euros a year. The same can be true for British blogging platforms. If you choose one of these platforms, we recommend that you register your own domain at a regular price and link it to a selected blogging platform.
Free Blog – yes or no?
The above mentioned CMS also have free versions. But will they return? You have it just as if you are considering free webhosting – it is worthwhile only in three exceptional cases:
You want to try blogging before you decide to run it full
You want a personal page, with basic information about yourself and you will only rarely change content
You want to blog more or less just for yourself in your free time and you are not interested in blogging
If you want to have a successful blog, earn thousands of visitors, build brand awareness and earn it, use a free blog is the worst choice you can choose because:
Free blogs often do not support the features you need to develop your business (collecting email contacts, search engine optimization, customization…)
Free blogs offer only limited features. Often just the most basic as content editing and limited publishing space. Plus, everything is charged, and feature packages are mostly stacked to take as high as possible. In short, you won’t do a lot of free blogging.
Blogging platforms – yes or no?
That depends on what you want to do with your blog and site. Personally, I am not in favor of any of the blog platforms. I tried some more and I didn’t like how many restrictions they have and that you have to pay extra for their unlocking.
In addition, such platforms do not allow you to program or otherwise obtain additional features on the Web. You are “limited” to what the service can offer you. For ecommerce projects for which marketing and increasing sales are their everyday bread, this will be a big drag.
If you need advanced features, A / B testing, quizzes, linking to external email marketing services, and building a contact database, you will not move much unless these platform creators complete these features.
On the other hand, if you are just starting out or all you need is a personal site, where you update something once a year and you just need to publish some blog article from time to time, it is enough for you.
For this reason, top marketers in America (such as Neil Patel or Digitalmarketer.com…) do not work on such blogging platforms. They know that they have to adapt quickly to the behavior of the visitors, test and try new things, and many platforms would not allow them. That’s why many of them choose WordPress on their own hosting, through which they can also sell easily.
Main Domain Blog vs. blog on a separate domain
There are some recommendations on how to choose the most appropriate domain. I have written everything in this article about choosing a domain, so now we will focus more on whether your online project is worth having one main page and a blog on another domain, or having everything under one roof.
Generally, when creating content for your potential clients, it is best to run a blog on the main domain, and the ideal shape of the url addresses should look like the following: name / end / url-article. You can also use the subfolder / blog / -> name_name / ending / blog / name-article, but the first option is better.
We recommend that you avoid the blog.domain.domain subdomain as long as you stick to topics in your area. The exception may be the website, as O2 operates in the telecommunications world, but their blog is on other topics and is profiled as an intelligent coffee reader.
If you are considering a blog on a stand-alone domain, it is very good to be inspired by Lidl, who in his content strategy has a separate blog, which focuses on various recipes.
The key is not only that they have a blog with good content, but it is branded. You can easily link content to their shopping network. So if you want to cook some of the recipes, you will surely come to Lidl. Their growth is a testament to their growth in content.
In case you choose a blog on a separate page, it’s a good idea to choose a domain that includes the brand name in your name, because people will be more easily connected to your products / services.
Helpful Hint: A separate domain blog is better for larger businesses that can afford to fund multiple of their websites. For ordinary people and start-ups, it is better to choose a blog on the original domain, as one site can devour a lot of time and financial resources.
Finally, there is a final step you will need to take if you do not choose a blogging platform that solves it for you. If you program a shop with a blog or use one of the CMSs, you’ll need your own space to store your blog. The space is webhosting.
You should consider the following key things to choose from:
Hosting Availability – This is the percentage of time your site is online during the selected time period. For example, if you had 99.9% hosting availability, it would mean that 0.1% of the time of the year would not be your site online due to downtime. In practice, you cannot fully guarantee 100% availability, as there are many factors that affect downtime. In general, you can be guided by hosting at least 99.98%.
Performance and Hosting Parameters – Just as computer programs need the operating system and performance of your computer to run them, your website, blog (CMS) or e-shop also requires adequate technical parameters to function optimally. In this regard, it is best to test hosting hosting on a trial basis, if possible. You can declare anything, but whether the site runs smoothly and quickly, you can only find out by trying it out on the hosting company’s servers.
Price – not just the cheapest solution. Too cheap hosting may not provide the performance and technical features you need for your site. Therefore, do not look at the price as a major factor. First of all, focus on performance and availability, and then on price.
Technical support – from time to time it may happen that some technical problem occurs. Even the best webhosting providers do not avoid this. If you don’t know the problem, every reliable hosting also has technical support that you can contact. The question is their willingness, expertise and speed to handle your requirements. Until you have a hosting, you don’t have a hundred percent to verify it. However, you can call for support and ask about parameters and the like. You will see their helpfulness and willingness to be helpful.
For example, a quality hosting that meets these conditions is WY, where you can even take advantage of the bloggers’ action.