Setup nowadays so easy Snoop Dogg can do it with the elegance of NYTimes, Sony PlayStation, Wall Street Journal, Paris Hilton and more. WordPress requires no coding knowledge and is free software – it’s the domain name and hosting you pay about-as-much-as-a-cup-of-coffee-per-month for. It gives you a website like the world’s best and teaches you all about websites, too. For countless bloggers who do this for a living, WordPress.org is the best place to blog, and it continues to be the largest blogging community on the web.
WordPress.com is a free blog-hosting site with roughly half the features of.org. The general idea here is less maintenance for you, but less control of the blog. Get a.wordpress domain name like “dearblogger.wordpress.com” or pay to use your own domain name. Need a niche? WordPress.com sees 100,000 posts published each day so you’ll surely find like-minded thinkers. Not a full company website but a loyal companion for one. Write posts, try a free theme, set up social media buttons and learn blogging at WordPress.com.
DISCOVER: Why Blogs Fail to Get Traffic
Recommended for: Mass community blogging
Released: November 21, 2005
Founder: Matt Mullenweg of Automattic
Total users: 56 million blogs
Pros: Ease to use with little you can mess up.
Cons: Less customization and a bit fussy with adding certain features.
Costs: Free, you can pay WordPress.com to get a domain name without the “.wordpress” addition.
My verdict: A lovely intro to blogging that about 1 year in takes us all to a crossroads: stay put, or transfer to WordPress.org.
Blogger is Google’s free blog-hosting site. More popular at the turn of the millenium, Blogger still offers a great service but the designs are a bit elementary. Login and publish your first post for free with only a Gmail account. Try Adsense “monetization”, design a new layout and even edit your first piece of code.
Recommended for: Blogging
Founded: August 2013, 1999
Notable events: Bought by Google in February 2003
Founder: Evan Williams of Pyra Labs
Pros: Publish anywhere, huge community, images, video, edit HTML/CSS, template designer, track traffic stats in Blogger, Adsense at no charge
Cons: While Blogger is where many writers (including Dear Blogger) started publishing, it’s designs appear a bit childish today. Google owns your blog – they axed Reader – so acknowledge a bit less control upfront.
Costs: Pay $10/year for a domain name without the “.blogspot” extension – otherwise totally free.
Future predictions: May merges with Google+.
My verdict: Everything blogging should be and more – Blogger was the sandbox for names now headlining in tech. The only real negative comes from outgrowing Blogger, at which point many (like myself) transfer to WordPress. Less popular today – even Google’s PR Mogul Matt Cutts runs a WordPress site.
Introduction to Tumblr:
At a time when WordPress and Blogger were neck-and-neck for new users, Tumblr showed up as the 3rd guy to the party. They received lots of sign-ups from users wanting a totally refreshing take on blogging, and have grown ever since. Tumblr was recently bought by Yahoo, who has interesting plans for the whole blog advertising thing.
Founded: February 2007
Founder: David Karp
Total users: 152 million
Pros: Ease of use and ability to share your friends’ work through re-blogging.
Cons: Less customization, just a shade less professional and not ideal for conducting business.
Costs: Free, pay Tumblr to get your own domain name without the “.tumblr” edition
My verdict: Great for photography and other forms of art. Super-simplistic designs and a whimsical vibe make Tubmlr a great choice for any new blogger.