Those of you that need to do blog for class might want to get a head start on the semester by reading through this and taking the first step to register a blog or website.
Even if you decide to go for the free website/blog now, you should consider buying your domain name for a future website. Using just your name as a website URL address, you will be able to convert it to other media (if you change your focus). If you purchase something like joeceramics.com, you might regret it later if you become a photographer.
If you would like to purchase a domain name, go to a domain name registration company like networksolutions.com. There you will be able to search the available domains. If you are interested in building your own website or hosting a blog using a unique domain name address (URL), you should research hosting companies first. Many hosting companies (like Lunarpages.com) will offer to pay for your domain name registration if you host your website through their company. Again, research is key!
Some of the primary blogging programs are:
Blogger.com – This blog (claybucket.blogspot.com) is hosted on Blogger. Blogs hosted there are followed with the .blogspot.com address. Many consider this the easiest blog to learn how to use. Posting is as simple as writing an e-mail. The tradeoff for ease of use is appearance. The number of available templates is small and if you want to do a high level of customization, you need to know .css and .html. Blogger is also limited in that there is no capability for paged navigation.
WordPress.com – This is blog service that the SpaceLab (spacelabproject.wordpress.com) blog is hosted on. Blogs on WordPress are followed with the .wordpress.com address. WordPress is more customizable than Blogger, but a tad bit harder to learn how to use. It’s actually fairly easy to use, but it does take a little time to get used to it. WordPress has the largest number of free templates available and if you know any .css, .html, and .php – it’s highly customizable. One of the primary advantages of wordpress is the function of pages for navigation.
Movabletype.org – this is one of the most powerful blog services out there. It is highly customizable, but many consider it hard to learn how to use. This is blog service that you need to host on a server through a hosting company. While the moveabletype software is free, the hosting is not. Hosting can be anywhere from a few dollars a month to $30 for a small website.
Typepad.com – This is also considered a little more difficult than some of the other blog services out there, but many say that typepad has the most professional appearance. Prices start at 4.95 per month.
Free Website Options
There are also a huge number of free website services out there but unfortunately, many of them are riddled with ads, so do your research!! Look up third parties that compare and contrast the free services out there. Here are a few to get started with, but investigate them for yourself!
Free: Webs.com, Weebly.com, Wix.com, Sites.google.com
Small fee: SquareSpace.com
Hope this helps clear out at least a little of the confusion!
See you in the studio.