When you are looking into starting a blog it can be hard to understand all the jargon and confusing as to which type of blogging software, hosting and what domain name to pick.
Let’s start off by getting an understanding what a website, blog, hosting and domain names are.
Because how can you create something or make a decision on something that you don’t understand? Or more importantly how can you choose which one is best for you.
So we’ll have a quick look at what each one means. Once we know what they are then we can understand why we need them and which one to choose!
What is a Website:
Basically a website is a collection of one or more webpages, that can be accessed via the internet. A web page is what appears when you type a web address into a internet browser or as results from a search in a search engine eg Google.
You can then move around that website by clicking its links and pages. You can add text, images, video, audio etc to a website. The website will have a common web address or domain name for all of its pages.
The main differences between blogs and websites (static – websites without a blog) is that blogs tend to be written more personally talking from the bloggers own experiences or viewpoint, they are regularly updated and people can comment on them.
Whereas a website tends to be more formal, setting the information out for you, and you can’t comment and interact on them directly.
What is a Blog:
A blog is a website or webpage (depending on how many it has). The difference is the style and the way it’s set out. A blog tends to be updated regularly and the software that you use lets it flow in a diary or journal style. eg. Build a Blog is a blog!
Blogging software like WordPress, also known as a Content Management System is very versatile. And can let you build a website around your blog, it’s an easy way to develop your blog and/or website into whatever you want it to be.
There are different types of blogging platforms that you can choose from like Hosted and Self-Hosted platforms.
A Hosted platform is like it suggests a platform where the blog is hosted for you, so you never have to worry about hosting, updates or security. They’re also really easy to set up but do only give you limited options for customising your site (and domain name). An example of a Hosted Platform is WordPress.com.
On the other hand you have Self – Hosted platforms, and again as the name suggests you need to sort out the hosting for your site and update it and sort out security for it.
In return you can pretty much customise your site in any way you can think of! An example of a Self – Hosted platform is WordPress.org.
What is Hosting:
Or web hosting is what a website needs so people can view it. It gives you space on the internet for your website to ‘live’. A hosting provider is a company that provides this for you, they ‘host’ your website on their servers (large computers) and you pay a fee to them to ‘rent’ that space. That can be charged monthly or annually depending on the plan eg. I have used Bluehost since 2007.
There are different types of hosting you can buy like shared, VPS or dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is the most common hosting for a blog. So if you’re looking around at hosting companies for prices then look for their shared option.
What is a Domain Name:
So you have decided on the hosting that you want for your blog, but now you need people to be able to find it!
You need an address.
A domain name is the address of your blog, and when people type it into a internet browser then your blog will appear.
The only problem is that you need an address that is ‘free’ or in other words – available, you can’t have different websites ‘living’ at the same address. So you need to find an address that is available and register the domain name to be able to use it, for a fee usually annually.
There are services that can do this for you or your web hosting company may also handle this. eg. I also use Bluehost to register my domain names and manage them.
So there we have it, now you can see the different parts involved that you need in creating a blog and how they fit together.
Next: Different types of blogging software available…