So you’ve decided to set up a graphic design blog but before you even begin to wonder what content to produce you have to think about what platform you are going to use to best showcase your graphic design articles and work.
The most popular platforms to use are Blogger, Joomla, Drupal, Typepad and WordPress. When choosing you platform, you’ll need to think whether you want a hosted or non-hosted blog platform. A hosted platform is hosted on the platform’s server. For example, Blogger is hosted on Blogger server.
A blog that is non-hosted is housed on your own server (usually a third-party you pay to host your site). For example WordPress.org do not host your blog for you. You will need to get another company to host it for you and there are some hosts that WordPress.org work with who can do this for you.
The advantage of having a hosted site is that it makes it so easy to start a blog and see if you like blogging and can commit to it without spending a lot of money on the set-up. In fact Blogger and WordPress.com are free but Typepad offers different price packages depending on your needs.
Hosted sites are generally more user-friendly and even if you are not used to such platforms it is easy to navigate without any prior knowledge. The easiest sites to use are most probably Blogger and Weebly. However Tumblr is also making a breakthrough as a ‘mini-blogging’ site which is great for shorter posts and image based blogs.
Hosted sites also offer you a way to type you post and see how it will look before it is published. If you don’t know HTML then hosted sites are great because it is not necessary to have any prior knowledge of this but if you do it is also easy to toggle between the visual and HTML modes.
Although some disadvantages of this can be that even though Blogger and Weebly are easy to use they can also appear less professional and there are limitations on how much you can control and change the HTML and CSS. Also you may want to bear in mind that if you wish to gain income from advertising then wordpress.com does not allow advertising on your blog.
HTML and CSS control are not an issue with blogs such as WordPress.org. You also have many different plug-ins for the WordPress.org platform that allows you to do everything from SEO and managing advertising to coordinating your social media more effectively. Then it can also put you at a disadvantage as a begginer to the blogging world if you have a non-hosted platform as more often than not they require more knowledge of HTML and CSS to tweak them to your needs.
While there are pros and cons of all the different blogging platforms the best thing to do is just to try a free one out and see how that suits your needs and then later switch to a non-hosted one when you have got to grips with HTML code. Also a great place to start is to make a list of all the blogs that you like both content and design wise and then see which platforms they use so you can get an idea of what each platform has to offer.