This post contains affiliate links – see disclosure at the end of the post
So, you’ve decided to blog! There’s a few quick decisions that you need to make before you do anything… I promise they will help in starting a blog!
1. Choose your preferred blogging platform
I can’t speak to Tumblr, Squarespace, Wix or any of the other available platforms, but I do know WordPress. WordPress is hands down the most popular blogging platform, and for good reason. WordPress is incredibly customizable, with thousands of plugins and likely nearly as many themes, you can design your blog to look like your blog!
I’ve been team WordPress since I started this little ole blog back in 2014, and I’m very happy with it. WordPress is quite easy to use, and I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m no techie, but whenever I have a problem with my blog, I am able to google it and come up with an answer or solution that I can implement quite easily.
WordPress has been around for a long time, and has an incredibly high number of users, and that gives you the best chance at a blogging system that performs well, performs quickly. It simply works, even if you’re a complete blog newbie, like me.
2. Do you want to own your content?
This is important to think about before starting a blog! WordPress offers free blogging for everyone, but, and this is a big but, if you use their hosting, they own your stuff. They own all the hard work, all the words, all the everything you put into that blog. Not only do they own the rights to your intellectual content, they also have the ability, and the right, to take it down, or delete it, at any time.
Another drawback to WordPress hosted blogs is that you are limited to the rich content you can put on your blog. What does that mean? Well that means that the WordPress hosted blogs limit the number of images, and videos, which are a massive part of the blogging experience. They also limit the amount of monetizing you can do – which can and will make a difference when you decide to monetize your hard work. The number of free themes you have access to is limited as well – this is why many WordPress hosted blogs look incredibly similar! They also give you a lame free blog domain-www.yourblogname.wordpress.com
Trust me, you want to own your own content. After all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your blog, you want to have ownership of your intellectual property! (You might be thinking “blood, sweat, and tears, ya right.” WRONG! I’ve cut myself, sweat while I was canning things outside on the deck in the beating sun, and also, I burnt myself one time, and cried a little bit. Now you know!) Having a self-hosted blog also means that you are able to own your own domain, your own little corner of the world wide web! My domain is cravethegood.com, your domain can be anything you want, provided it’s not already taken!
a domain: is the address of your blog on the world wide web. ex. www.cravethegood.com
hosting: is the company that stores all your blog information and puts it on the internet.
I chose BlueHost hosting, and I’ve been very happy with the service. I had one day in the past almost 3 years that my blog went down, and that was due to an error that occurred during routine maintenance, all was restored and well shortly after. BlueHost has been exceedingly simple to use, and easy to work with. Can you beat easy, hassle free, and professional hosting for under $6 a month, including your own domain?!
Oh, and BlueHost has one click WordPress install. Just saying!
3. What’s your style?
There are many free WordPress themes available, and they are great. But they aren’t for me. I had a specific idea in mind, and I wanted something completely customizable.
Before I started this blog, I did some theme shopping… I absolutely fell in love with the Foodie Pro theme by Shay Bocks over at Feast Design . Once I fell in love with the simple, beautiful minimalism I knew I had to have it. Since then I’ve been running my WordPress blog on the Genesis framework by StudioPress.
Let me backtrack a bit, Foodie Pro (and her’s sisters Cook’d Pro and Brunch Pro), are child themes, this means they need a special “parent framework”. What this means is that, in order to use the Child theme, you need to first have the correct Parent, which is simply a code library that runs the behind the scenes computing for the visuals of the Child. The Parent for Foodie is the Genesis framework by StudioPress
It’s not like me to choose things randomly, willy-nilly, so of course, I creeped many blogs using the Foodie Pro theme, and I studied the Genesis framework until I was satisfied that it was the best option. Genesis offers a clean, easy to edit (if necessary) hooks system. There is an incredible amount of peer to peer user support out there for Genesis, including specific plugins and widgets. There’s also excellent StudioPress company support, as well as Genesis users get lifetime updates – sent straight to your blog dashboard, which helps with bug fixes, security patches, and generally upgrades.
There are obviously many other decisions that need to be made, but having had these laid out for me at the beginning would have helped me a lot!
I’d love to see your blog once you’ve set it up! Comment below with a link 🙂
Crave The Good,
Ps. some of the links enclosed are affiliate links, they don’t cost you anything to use, but the allow me to earn a small commission – which helps pay for the costs associated with running this blog <3