Technology has advanced so much that it is incredibly easy to establish an online presence. You have so many options. Some are totally automated, fill-in-the-blank click-a-mouse-button type applications, while others are total DIY (do-it-yourselfer’s). The rest fall into that happy medium between having just the right balance of technology requiring basic computer skills while allowing a user-friendly experience to capture one’s own creativity.
Website templates can be downloaded at the click of a mouse. Others are already hosted online and allow you simply to sign up for them and change the name, text and pictures and you’re rolling.
WordPress A Popular Application
WordPress blogs are great content management sites. They continue to be updated on a regular bases. In addition, so many widgets and plugins are created to make them more versatile and functional. Almost any application you can think of doing or not doing is possible with WordPress.
In addition they only it only takes a few minutes to set up a database and blog. However, there are other applications available. WordPress is not the only kid on the block. There’s Google’s Blogger application which is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate.
The top five blogging platforms are “Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Squarespace and Posterous. All are web-based, and free except Squarespace, a commercial platform costing about $5 to $8 per month.
Decide On A Domain Name
Once you’ve decided on a blogging platform (and there’s no law which says you cannot have several all at the same time). It just not recommended for those starting out who are trying to learn their way around. Take one platform and learn as much about it as you can, then you’ll know enough of the basics to use any one of them.
A domain name is your URL or uniform resource locator. We are most familiar with it as www.yourwebsite.com For your website to appear and function online, it needs to have a its own peculiar web addressed determined by its’ domain name. A quick search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing for hosting companies will bring up a list of them. Some of the most popular are GoDaddy.Com, (which you may have seen advertised on TV), HostGator.Com and BlueHost.Com are others. If you decide to go online, check them out at your leisure.
One decision you may want to make is whether you want to host the sites on your own personal or shared server. That decision is determined mostly by the security and control you’ll want over your website. When using another company, their stability or lack of it, could jeopardize your site. On the other hand having more control over what happens to your site can cost more over time. Hosting accounts, especially for the basics to get started are very inexpensive.
Before getting started take the time to learn as much as you can. The more informed you are the better decisions you can make and the less money you will waste.
The ultimate goal of your online presence is to enhance your offline experience. What is the advantage or gain you seek by being online?