Due to the popularity of my tutorial on creating a website, I decided to create this tutorial on how to create a blog.
Creating a blog is very similar to creating a website. You just need to be aware of a couple of things when you make a blog.
Here, I explain how to create a blog. I also explain some of the essential concepts such as hosting and domain names. If you need to create a blog, but don't know where to start, read on!
Before I continue though...
Need to create a blog ASAP?
Get a WordPress hosting plan. This is a hosting plan with a pre-installed copy of the world's most popular blogging software.
But of course, feel free to read on first...
Blogs vs Websites
There's not much difference between blogs and websites. The main difference is in the way the content is presented. A blog post can be presented within the context of its tags, categories, and published date, as well as within search results. A website usually has its pages/articles displayed based on categories, as well as search results.
A blog requires a database and server-side scripting. Websites on the other hand, don't need these technologies (although many websites do actually use them).
Create a Blog... The Easy Way
Now, just because a blog requires a database and server-side scripting, it doesn't mean that you need to learn these technologies. You can easily start a blog by using a WordPress hosting plan through our partner site, ZappyHost. When you use this plan, you get a pre-installed version of WordPress (the world's most popular blog software), as well as a fully functioning web hosting account with plenty of extras. WordPress hosting provides everything you need to start blogging. Hosting is provided. Blog is provided. And most importantly, you can have your own domain name (for example "myblog.com"). WordPress hosting saves you the hassle of installing your own blog software onto your hosting provider's server.
Alternatively, you could use an online blog builder such as Quick Blogcast to create your blog. Quick Blogcast also gives you podcast capabilities - you can provide audio and video for your blog readers!
Making a blog like this is just as easy as making a website with an online website builder. Using an online website builder, you simply log in, choose your favorite design, then add content.
It's the same thing with blogging. By using a hosting plan that includes a blog builder, you simply log in, choose your design, then start blogging. In a nutshell it goes like this:
- Create blog
- Add content!
There are other ways of making a blog, but this is the easiest assuming you want a blog with your own domain name.
I've just discussed the easiest way to set up a blog with hosting and domain name included. There are other ways of doing it if you're so inclined.
When it comes to setting up your own blog, you have three basic options. The option you choose will usually depend on how seriously you take your blog.
- Free Blogging Service such as Blogger, TypePad and LiveJournal.
This option is popular with amateur bloggers. Although this is the easiest way to set up a blog, it can cause you problems in the future.
When you sign up for these free services, you don't get your own domain name. So, instead of having "myblog.com", you will have something like "myblog.blogspot.com". This will cause problems if you ever decide to get your own domain name. This is because all your old links won't work once you change to your domain name. Users finding your blog from a search engine will encounter a "Page not found" error.
Another problem with these free blogging accounts is that the blogging service has the power to completely destroy your blog. For example, if the blogging service went out of business, you'd lose your whole blog. You'd then have to start all over again.
If you really want a free blogging account, at least get your own domain name. This is the best piece of advice I can give you. Register a domain name with ZappyHost, and you'll get a free blogging account.
- Self-installation: Sign up with a hosting provider (such as ZappyHost), download blogging software (also known as "blogware") such as Wordpress (downloadable version) or Movable Type, then install the software onto the server. You will also need to register your own domain name with your hosting account. Some hosting providers include blog software with the hosting plan, but these often require that you go through the blog installation process after you sign up with your hosting account.
- Pre-installed (no installation needed): As mentioned, this is a hosting account that already includes a blog. Similar to the "self-installation" option, however, there is no need for the blogger to download any software.
If you plan on earning money from your blog, you should seriously consider these last two options. The advantage with doing this is that, you are using your own domain name from the very start. Plus, there are no ads being displayed from the hosting provider. Of course, you can choose to display your own ads. This will enable you to earn money from your blog.
And, if you change hosting providers later, your previous blog posts will still work. Web hosting is very cheap these days and completely tax deductable in most countries. If you're looking for a hosting provider you may as well find one that includes a blog builder.
Still not sure about how to go about creating a blog?
- Here are some frequently asked questions from the tutorial on creating websites. Most of these also apply to creating a blog.
- Think you might need a website instead of a blog? Check out this tutorial on creating a website.
- Blog Hosting Explains two types of blog hosting and where you can find a good deal.
- WordPress Hosting Discusses hosting for WordPress - the world's most popular blogging platform.
- Web Hosting Tutorial Explains what web hosting is and how to choose a hosting provider. Although aimed towards websites, it is also applicable to blogs (technically, blogs and websites are the same thing).
- Want to get more technical? Read this short tutorial on the essential web building skills. Although you don't need to learn all of these to become a blogger, it certainly helps to have a basic understanding of the key web building concepts.