So far, I've talked about picking a blogging niche, a blog name and the history of blogging. Today, I am going to talk about a blogging platform. I thought a blogging platform was like a philosophy; however, it is nothing of the sort. A platform is simply the software a blogger uses. Popular blogging platforms are Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr which are all free. TypePad is also a platform, but comes with a fee. For more information, read Word Press for Dummies (http://www.amazon.ca/WordPress-For-Dummies-Lisa-Sabin-Wilson/dp/1118073428).
Blog platforms typically include a dashboard, a library of design templates. You follow the platform's instructions to apply the template to your blog. Professional Blogging for Dummies recommends that you set up a test blog to see what works best for you, thereby answering questions like:
1. Do you like the dashboard?
2. Is it easy to change the blog's design?
3. Are support forums offered?
4. Are you able to customize your blog using widgets and plug-ins?
5. Are you able to map your own domain name to the blog address assigned by the service?
For more information about blog platforms visit http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/08/16/best-blogging-services/.
Some blogging platforms also serve as hosting services. However, you can pick a separate platform and hosting service. Keep in mind that if you want to link your new blog to an already existing website, you can't use a hosting service. If you choose to go with a separate hosting service, here are some points to remember. First, choose your platform first, and your hosting service second. The service must be compatible with the platform. Second, pick a service that will allow you to use your own domain name. That should remain front and centre. Third, if you read a blog which you really like, don't hesitate to ask the blogger what host service they use. Fourth, pick a hosting service with adequate storage for possible photos, podcasts, etc. To learn more, read (http://www.amazon.com/Podcasting-For-Dummies). Fifth, research the company's reputation. Sixth, if all else fails, hire a blog consultant or designer. Finally, look at the control panel you will be using to manage your web hosting account. Is it user friendly? Possible host services include Web.com, Go Daddy, Network Solutions, BlueHost and DreamHost.
For more information about web hosting services visit http://www.seanogle.com/entrepreneurship/best-hosting-services.