The first task is to choose a hosting site and to choose a name for your site.
There are two main hosting sites – Blogger which is part of Google and WordPress. This blog began in 2002 on Blogger and relocated to WordPress in December 2015.
Whilst I liked Blogger, it began to feel less modern and a bit clunky, compared to the modern feel that WordPress exhibits. I liked the clean approach and feel of several of the themes and I especially liked this one, which is called “Twenty Ten” Blogger is part of Google and WordPress provides two versions. The first WordPress.org is for those that have their own web space and use the Content Management System (CMS) approach to their website, the Guild of One-Name Studies uses this for their website. This blog is located on WordPress.com and is likely to the one you will chose for your blog, assuming you don’t want to use Blogger.
There is also a third option, though I note today they are no longer accepting new accounts and that option is TypePad, instead they are now recommended a new platform, BlueHost which seems to use the WordPress platform. TypePad and BlueHost charge a month, so I wonder what you get more than using regular WordPress?
I have mentioned previously, this site is on WordPress.com, I already had purchased a domain name from the provider 123Reg.co.uk having done that I simply point the domain to the address on the WordPress platform – you know the domain name, because you likely see it in your browser window!
I recommend that you visit the websites for the providers and see which one feels the most comfort to you to use.
Choosing a Name
Whilst the most obvious, the name of your site might actually be tricky to select. Firstly the name on the hosting platform might already be taken by someone else. Secondly, you want to choose a name that represents you or what you are going to write about.
You might decide that you are going to write about your One-Name study and might choose to select a name like XGenealogy.wordpress.com. Does this mean that you cannot write about anything else? Or you could do as I do, have one site that is reflective of your work and interests.
The image above is not totally complete, I do write about general genealogy, surname studies and research, my own genealogy and my own studies. I also write about European ancestors; writing and researching in Europe and lastly, Desk Ramblings, which reflects the rest of my life that I wish to share – National Trust places, holidays, cemeteries, book reviews, museums trips, stationary and anything else which appeals.
Once you have decided the name for your blog, and you have chosen a provider you can create the site. All sites vary, but some, this one included allow for a tagline. Mine is situated in the top right and reads:
Books, Genealogy, History, Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, Pharos Tutor, European Ancestors, Sicilian Genealogical Research, Notebooks, Journals and Stationary etc.
I don’t see the absolute need for a tagline to a blog, but if the theme you decide to use has the provision for one, then go ahead and use it, after all, it is opportunity to say on the first page what the site is about.
This is part of my Blog Writing Series. The next instalment will be up tomorrow, when we will looking at the communication and sharing aspect of blogging.
WordPress is far easier to use than Blogger I think. There is also a newish platform called Wix which is gaining in popularity.
One thing to consider about the domain name – don’t be too clever otherwise you are making it hard for people to find you. As an example, I belong to a walking group where the leader wants to create a blog site. He is insisting on using the welsh name for the town in which the group is based even though by far the majority of people used the anglicised version. I’ve tried coaching him that people will search using the anglicised name but he’s very stubborn.
Hi Julie. A good introduction 🙂 When I started to blog I also used blogger but changed to WordPress.com a couple of years ago. Blogger is free and has no ads. WordPress.com is free but if you do not pay you get horrible vulgar ads. I find those ads really detract from blogs 😦 The payment is < 2 cups of coffee a month.
Hi Anne, you are quite about the adverts, though I don’t recall any vulgar ones, but did find them irritating, so I upgraded my account for £36 a year.