Choosing the right Blogging platform
So you have decided you want to start a blog and join the many others that are out there and become a blogger in the blogosphere.
One of your first steps will be choosing which blogging platform to use, It is also one of the most important first decisions that you will make as a blogger. The right platform can make blogging a
real pleasure, whilst making the wrong choice of platform can make blogging an absolute chore, leaving you wishing you had never started a blog in the first place and swearing to never go near one again.
This is because the software, program or application that you use to blog with is an integral part of your overall blogging experience. It is therefore well worth the effort spending some time in finding the right platform for your needs. You will be looking to find the right balance of price (we will cover this in some more depth at a later date- there are many free options), usability and flexibility or features.
You will want something with a user-friendly interface and a flexible framework that allows you to make your blog look and feel unique. Finding the right platform need not be difficult as long as you put in some research and planning. With the right forethought you will be well on your way to launching on the perfect blogging platform for your needs.
The first step is prioritizing, ease of use vs flexibility. Generally speaking the more flexible the framework the longer it will take to set-up, configure and manage when considered against more automated wizard like platforms. A good example of the first is WordPress, and a good example of the second is WordPress.
The next choice is hosted platform, or host your own. Well in the first instance if your wanting flexibility then the hosted platforms such as wordpress.org or blogger.com
If you are not very technically minded, new to the internet and technology, web design and blogging you may want to sacrifice some of the extensibility for ease of management. I would certainly recommend this option for newcomers.
However if you are an experienced web developer or accomplished web designer you will probably find the limitations of a service like blogger.com extremely frustrating.
I cannot tell you what the ‘best blogging platform’ is, because every blog has its own unique requirements, every blogger has his or her own set of skills and limitations, and after all blogging is very much about individuality so it follows that there is a wide variety of platforms to suit the needs of a diverse range of users.
This diversity serves the internet community well, as there is bound to be an application that is suited to your technical ability. The flip side is that such varied requirements lead to such a wide variety of platforms potentially making your search a little harder.
When considering other peoples reviews try and be aware of the angle that the reviewer is coming from, and with commercial applications beware of sponsored and paid for reviews. Just because a free hosted application like blogger.com is trashed by an experienced webby does not mean that this simple to use interface wouldn’t be perfect for the needs of a 50 year old semi-retiree writing about his gardening hobby.
So rather than looking for the perfect platform, look for the perfect platform for you. There is no holy grail or perfect platform.
If you have web hosting already then it is very likely your webhost offers a cPanel control panel, or Fantastico. If that is the case you are in luck, because with the click of a button you can install, run and test a whole host of different platforms.
Come back later this week for follow up articles from Andrew Bonar on the topic of starting a blog. Including a more detailed look at using Fantastico and cPanel to create and test blog platforms.
About The Author: Andrew Bonar, TopExpert.com
With over 12 years experience working with and marketing internet technologies, Andrew launched his first website ‘Happenings’ in 1994, when there were less than 100,000 websites online. Andrew’s early interest in the internet lead to becoming co-founder of the UK’s first Independent ISP, Cheapnet/Pobox and by 1999 he had launched one of Europe’s first payment gateways, eBanx.
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