Things to Think About Before Starting a Blog

If you’ve ever wondered how to create a blog? There are a lot of things to think about before starting a blog. If you’re looking for ‘how to create a blog’ this isn’t the post for you as this is what to do before starting a blog.

A blog is a wonderful place where ideas come to life. Some people blog for a hobby while others have made it their full-time job. Everyone has a unique take on the world and has their own creative way of expressing it, so why not put it into a blog.

Before Starting a Blog

Creating a blog can be easy or hard depending on which route you take with it. Most hosts have a simple way to create a blog by just the click of a button.

There are three main things you need to start a blog.

  1. A Domain
  2. A Host
  3. A Blogging Platform

You will also need to have an idea of what you are going to blog about but that will be covered in another post.

What is a Domain?

A domain is basically the name of your site in a website address extension such as .com or .co.uk. For example, my site is called Charmaine Bailey and my domain is charmainebailey.co.uk.

Choose your domain wisely, you can’t change it later if you don’t like it anymore.

Where can I get a Domain for my Blog?

There are lots of different domain registration companies. Some hosts even offer a free domain with a hosting plan but, more on that later. Here are two that I have used. Do your research on which ones are best.

GoDaddy – The current home of any domain I create for myself or clients. I’ve had no problems so far.

HostPapa – I already owned my domain when I moved over to HostPapa but they offer domain services alongside their hosting services.

What is a Host?

A host is a company that will store your website on their servers for a fee. Kind of like renting a garage or storage space to keep your possessions in.

You can host your blog on your own computer, which is free, a downside to this is that you will have to keep your computer running 24/7 to keep your blog running. You would also need a cooling system in place to keep your PC cool and stop it from breaking down from overheating which could cost a lot of money.

Who Should I Host my Blog with?

There are lots of companies that offer hosting packages and most of them give you a free domain too. While I can’t speak for everyone, I have had a few hosting companies host my sites for me that I’ve found well-rounded. Again, do some research to find the best fit for you.

Host Papa – It was fairly easy to set up a website with HostPapa. I eventually created my site into a WordPress blog and it was fairly easy to do but at the time I had to upload my self-hosted WordPress blog directly to my site – wasn’t easy at the time. Now though, they offer the same as most other hosts, a one-click installation for lots of different applications.

Site Ground* – The current host of my sites. They make it super easy to make a blog without prior knowledge and they have guides for WordPress specifically. I’ve also received the best customer care with these lovely people so far. If I have a problem with my website they have, so far, fix it within the hour.

GoDaddy – I’ve never had them as a host but they offer to host as well so I figured I’d pop them here since I like their domain services already. They offer a site builder and WordPress specific hosting.

What are Blogging Platforms?

Blogging platforms are places you can make your website or blog. Most hosting companies have an easy way to install various different applications such as WordPress or phpBB(forum application)

Free Vs Paid

There are 2 options for your blog, self-hosted blogs or free. There are places you can get a free limited website and/or blog. Free websites are a great place to start if you are unsure of what you want to do. Not so great for full customisation.

Free

Perfect if you are unsure of what you want to blog about and as a small starter blog. Not so great for lots of images though since the space you get is limited. You’ll need to check with each host to see what they offer.

WordPress – I started my lifestyle blog here and it was perfect to learn the platform and get used to blogging.

Wix – simple to use interface for building websites, drag and drop, and a great place to start a website or blog since it has a bit of a WordPress vibe to it.

Weebly – Another simple interface for building websites or blogs.

Tumblr – I actually use this as a micro-blogging platform for my art, photography and gaming. Another simple to use blogging platform but it doesn’t seem good as a website, just a simple blog for sharing the things you like.

If I had to choose a free blog host, I’d go with WordPress or Wix.

Self-Hosted

There is a learning curve for these. Be prepared to learn.

WordPress – The most used worldwide for a blogging platform and even for websites. I love to design with WordPress and I use it for all my client’s websites too. It’s easy to install and configure and there are loads of themes to choose from.

Joombla – I found Joombla a bit complicated to work out but it is a CMS(Content Management System) more than just a blog or website.

Drupal – Another open source CMS which can be used for any type of website.

SiteGround* have tutorials on how to set up all of these applications and more. They are specific to their installation process but this is similar everywhere.

Next Steps

After deciding where you are going with your blog, the next step will be deciding what you will be posting, your brand and your site’s design. Keep in mind that free sites are very limited with site design and customisation but you can still choose your colours and maybe the text style.

I hope this helps you to decide which direction to go with your blog.

Got questions? Ask away in the comments section.

Have a wonderful day!

Charmaine x

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Things to think about before starting a blog, charmainebailey.co.uk