Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Customized Blogs

Is Blogging Right for You? | Hosting Options | About Blogs

Customized Blogs

Spread Your Message

I design custom blogs that can provide you with a platform to showcase your ideas, demonstrate your expertise or simply to provide an outlet for your creativity.

I can also customize a WordPress or Blogger blog although the options there are more limited.

Blogs are NOT websites, although they can be customized to perform that function.

There are various methods of hosting a blog. Which one works best depends upon you, your goals and the skills at your disposal.

Blogging Services

I provide the following blog services:

  • Blog setup
  • Blog customization
  • Posting blog content
  • Troubleshooting issues with your blog

Get started now!

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Is Blogging Right for You?

WordPress and similar CMS technologies have exploded in recent years, mostly because of the concept that you can “do it yourself.”

Not Everyone Can!

Good content presented enticingly is what draws readers.

Your ability to successfully manage your own blog depends upon a number of factors.

  • How comfortable are you with computer and Internet technologies?
  • Do you understand the technology behind the blog enough to work with it?
  • What if something goes wrong?
  • Are you a good writer or do you need an editor?
  • Can you source photo or other images from legitimate sources? See Copyright — Who Owns the Content?

Required Skills

The modern word processing software is essentially an electronic desktop publishing system that allows you to format your work much more professionally than any typewriter ever could.

Writing Skills

However, that software still needs a skilled writer to create marketable copy. That person (you or your staff) need to understand the rules of writing, grammar, punctuation.

Usability Skills

In the same manner, you need to have someone with layout and usability skills like knowing how people read online, what draws their attention, how to format a link correctly and much more.

Having Difficulties?

Having challenges with doing it yourself? I can help.

Get started now!

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Blog Hosting Options

There are several options for hosting blogs, each with their own strengths and weaknesses:

  • A blog can be hosted on a dedicated blogging service like WordPress or Blogger.
  • WordPress can also be installed into your regular hosting site.
  • Custom blogging software like Joomla or Drupal can be used to create a blog.
  • A custom HTML-based blog can be created using the same technology used to build the majority of websites.

Lets have a look at each in turn.

WordPress

WordPress is the best known blogging site, even though Blogger was around first.

There is a huge number of WordPress themes, both free to use and commercial versions. In some cases you'll have to pay an annual fee to unlock the ability to customize the layout, fonts or other elements.

WordPress can be installed on your site or it can be hosted on WordPress.com. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Hosting on WordPress.com

If you hosting on WordPress.com, your blog address will be your user name before wordpress.com (e.g. someone with the user name widgets will be hosted at widgets.wordpress.com).

You can upgrade to a unique WordPress-hosted domain (e.g. widgets.com) for an annual fee.

WordPress on Your Website

By downloading WordPress from WordPress.org and installing it into your own hosting site, your blog will be running alongside your main website (e.g. widgets.com/blog).

WordPress Security

WordPress's popularity can be a problem with security. It is much more profitable to see the vulnerabilities of a blogging platform like WordPress than a custom designed site or blog.

  • Blogs hosted on WordPress.com have are updated automatically for the most part, including security fixes and theme updates.
  • Where WordPress is installed on your own hosting service (ISP) you need to be vigilant about upgrading both WordPress and the installed templates or plugins to avoid a vulnerability.

Blogging Software

Custom software designed to create, edit and maintain blogs is also available.

For the most part this software is used by larger organizations where several individuals manage different portions of the blog (such as the various Microsoft blogs).

Requirements are Different

This software runs independently of the requirements of sites like WordPress or Blogger which add their own overhead.

Big Learning Curve

This software is seldom a good choice for individuals or small businesses.

Like with most CMSs, there can be a large learning curve and support can disappear if the software vendor fails.

However, it may be a viable option if you're hosting several blogs under your domain.

A Custom Designed Blog

The third option is to have a custom blog built using the same techniques as a custom website.

The blog can be built with the same general layout as the main site. Changes to accommodate the needs of the blog format are not dependent upon any existing platform as they are with WordPress or Blogger.

Flexible but Depends Upon Professional Help

Postings to the blog aren't limited to a pre-determined format and new concepts can be incorporated by the blog/site designer much easier than modifying a free or purchased blog template.

Unless you incorporate a content management systems (CMS) — which has its own issues — you'll need professional help building and posting to your blog.

I have created and maintained custom blogs like this for clients. Postings are provided by email (usually in MS Word format) and I create the post from that file, adding necessary links, images and formatting.

Get started now!

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About Blogs

Blog is a contraction of “web log.”

Think of blogs as an online public diary where you can post thoughts, opinions and more.

Freedom From Time Limits

There is more freedom than with a website and its date-based format is more conducive to time-sensitive topics.

Share Your Expertise

Blogs allow you to present your expertise in a less-formal atmosphere and provide a great opportunity to educate your clients and potential customers.

Develop a Following

Blogs can allow you to develop a following based upon your expertise.

A Series of Discrete Posts

Because they are a series of discreet posts, you can easily refer to a specific post containing the concept or event you're referring to.

This allows you to post comments on other blog or on social media with a link back to your posting on the relevant topic.

NOT Date-sensitive

Because blogs post in date order, expectations are different. Older information doesn't appear “stale” like it can on a website.

Special Events

Blogs are great for posting time-sensitive information like sales events, book launches, readings, arts events. etc.

Such postings can be left on the blog for historical reference or can be removed without endangering the blog purpose or structure.

Writing Skills Needed

That said, you need to be able to write engaging material if you wish to capture and retain your audience.

  • Proper grammar and spelling is important.
  • Avoid commercials — that's what your website is for. Educate instead.
  • Don't plagiarize. Your material needs to be original.
  • Like social media, blogs need to be regularly updated to attract readership.

Done properly, your blog can become a tremendous asset.

Need Professional Help?

I have extensive experience creating and maintained custom blogs for clients. We can discuss your requirements and determine the best options for you.

Get started now!

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Related Pages

These other pages discuss the various aspects of designing a site:

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www.russharvey.bc.ca/blogs.html
Updated: March 16, 2017