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Thread: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I've been thinking about writing a blog for a long time and every so often I try to work out the best platform to go with. One of my pen-pals has written that I should do this to have my ink reviews saved all together.
    However, I get scared that I will choose the wrong one so I always withhold my money.

    I'm really tempted to go with WordPress because it looks very good on other blogs that I frequently read, but my current confusion lies between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

    Who has what, how easy is it to get up and running, and how expensive is it?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I did mine on wordpress.com. My only outlay is for my domain and that's just a few quid.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Runnin_Ute's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I use/used wordpress. The free version with no issue. Can post from the app as well. I am not very good about posting to it regularly.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Thank you both. That's good to know.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    You could use Tumblr to blog, it's free.

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    WordPress is free but you always have to buy a domain and hosting.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    WordPress is free but you always have to buy a domain and hosting.
    That costs me around 14 annually.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Runnin_Ute's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Mine is name.wordpress.com rather than a domain I had to purchase.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    WordPress is free but you always have to buy a domain and hosting.
    That costs me around 14 annually.
    That sounds like quite a good buy.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Quantum Sailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I use github pages. It has a higher learning curve than wordpress but has more control over the blog
    My Pinterest Feel free to add me on Facebook as well.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    Mine is name.wordpress.com rather than a domain I had to purchase.
    Yes, if you do it that way it doesn't cost anything at all. I chose to go with my own domain.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I've done all my blogs on blogger aka blogspot (Google) but had I to do it over again I would do WordPress. It seems like a much better more fully featured product and is the industry standard.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    On top of everything else, when picking a content platform - unless you are a coder - it is really good to go with a well-establishished model. Wordpress is exactly that, which means that you have a huge supply of add-ins, insight and many forums and resources to help you as you get going. If you ever need to move, the format is readily known and used so you don't get locked into some fairly-unknown form of code that makes future moves of your blog pages a burden.

    There are times when going with a common, popular format is a smart move. I think this is one of them.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    azkid (September 10th, 2018), Chrissy (September 10th, 2018)

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Very good points, Jon! Unlike the situation years ago, Wordpress and some others have made it very easy to get your thoughts and photos onto the Web. There's very little learning involved and you can get down to writing almost right away.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Quantum Sailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    On top of everything else, when picking a content platform - unless you are a coder - it is really good to go with a well-establishished model. Wordpress is exactly that, which means that you have a huge supply of add-ins, insight and many forums and resources to help you as you get going. If you ever need to move, the format is readily known and used so you don't get locked into some fairly-unknown form of code that makes future moves of your blog pages a burden.

    There are times when going with a common, popular format is a smart move. I think this is one of them.
    This is very true. If you have no desire to dig any deeper than just writing what you want to write this is the perfect way to go.
    My Pinterest Feel free to add me on Facebook as well.

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    Chrissy (September 10th, 2018), Jon Szanto (September 10th, 2018)

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Best to just pick a format and get going.

    All my sites use wordpress (links in signature) I don't like it, but all the other options seem worse.

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    Scribbler (September 11th, 2018)

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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    They're both from the same people - wordpress.

    The .com site lets you host a blog by just picking a name and going with some pre-determined choices. It's a great option to get your feet wet. You site would be something like chrissy.wordpress.com (or whateveryoupick.wordpress.com).

    The .org site is from where you would download the code (the software, if you will) that will run on a server and have visitors see your blog when they go to chrissy.com. This means that you need to buy hosting from a hosting company, register a domain (and renew it every year), and then, depending on the hosting company, install the wordpress code or have it provided by them.

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    Chrissy (September 10th, 2018)

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexwi View Post
    They're both from the same people - wordpress.

    The .com site lets you host a blog by just picking a name and going with some pre-determined choices. It's a great option to get your feet wet. You site would be something like chrissy.wordpress.com (or whateveryoupick.wordpress.com).

    The .org site is from where you would download the code (the software, if you will) that will run on a server and have visitors see your blog when they go to chrissy.com. This means that you need to buy hosting from a hosting company, register a domain (and renew it every year), and then, depending on the hosting company, install the wordpress code or have it provided by them.
    Thanks for that. I think I eventually came around to that conclusion, sort of. I can still buy a domain from somewhere, so that I don't necessarily have to have whateveripick.wordpress.com, and buying a domain name, then renewing it annually is what Deb does, but I can still have the simple, free part of WordPress.com, that has their adverts on it. That should be OK for now. I'm not sure I want to go the way of buying a domain plus hosting then downloading WordPress.org and working through it with the help of WP Beginner. I am a beginner, and that does seem to work out to be an expensive starting version.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    Hi Chrissy,

    Let's take care of the language before I try to confuse you further. Si?

    You register a domain name (i.e. you tell the world that chrissy.com is yours), for which you pay a registrar a fee for at least one year of registration. I use dotster.com for my domains' registration. I've been them since the 90's and they've been good for that.

    Then you pay a hosting company for "space" in one of their servers, and this server, and this "space" is where browsers will go fetch your content when someone types chrissy.com. This could be monthly or yearly.

    There is managed hosting and unmanaged. Managed means that you have access to space on the server's hard drive and you upload whatever you want there, and the company takes care of keeping things running smoothly. Unmanaged means that you are in control of a virtual server and you have to install ALL the software (web server, ftp server, mail server, wordpress, etc.).

    Based on the questions you're asking, you want MANAGED or just plain hosting. Unmanaged would be like someone saying to you "hey," and handing you the keys to a 747 airplane. Your hosting plan is likely to include email, so you can have your own mememe@chrissy.com address.

    I run an unmanaged server, so my experience with managed hosts is VERY limited. Doster does this, but I've no experience with them for this. The folk at wordpress.org recommend bluehost, dreamhost, and siteground. Whatever price you'll see now, it's likely to be a one-year promotion, so find out what you'll start paying on month #13, so there are no surprises. Whatever you do, stay away from iPage.com - I had an unmanaged server with them and it was a disaster (they are part of the same conglomerate dotster.com and bluehost.com belong too, which doesn't mean that either of those is bad - I've used dotster for years and I'm happy with them).

    Many, if not all, hosting plans already have the wordpress software installed as part of what they provide, as well as tutorials on how to get your blog up and running in a good 2 hours. If the wordpress software isn't installed, you will have to download it from wordpress.org and follow the instructions to install it in the server where you rented the space, but I doubt that this'll be the case.

    Once you have wordpress up and running, it's possible to configure it so that when people type chrissy.com, they see the blog, or you could use blog.chrissy.com, or even chrissy.com/blog. It makes no difference, really.

    Now, for wordpress, there are a gazillion plug-ins and themes. The themes dictate what your web site will look like (typography, colors, menu formats, etc.). Plug-ins are, in lieu of a better word, applets that let you add things like contact forms, visit counters, photo galleries, etc.

    This isn't rocket science, but it's not what I'd call trivial, and, of course, it seems daunting, if you've never done it, but if the hosting company has everything set up and good support, it should take you about 3 days to have a good idea of what you're doing.

    Good luck!

    alex

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick the best platform to write a blog on?

    I have set up and run several managed sites on services such as A2Hosting and personally that seems like way more trouble than it is worth for just a blog.

    I think a hosted WordPress solution would be less learning curve and less dinking with servers and settings and more time for writing/blogging.

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