Spread Your Message
Russ designs 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.
He can also customize a blog based on WordPress or Blogger software 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.
He provides the following blog services:
- Blog setup
- Blog customization
- Posting blog content
- Troubleshooting issues with your blog
Is Blogging Right for You?
WordPress and similar Content Management System (CMS) technologies have exploded in recent years, mostly because of the concept that you can “do it yourself.”
Not For Everyone!
Good content that is well presented is what draws readers.
Unfortunately, many people that choose to develop and run their own blog don't understand the technology or know how to create a good blogging experience.
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 well enough to work with it?
- What if something goes wrong?
- Are you a good writer or do you need an editor?
- Can you source photos or other images from legitimate sources?
Modern blogging software is essentially like a modern word processor, except that it is posted online rather than printed on paper.
When you start a blog (or an e-newsletter) you'll have to have a target audience and the ability to keep that audience entertained and informed about your chosen topic. Know you passion, but ensure you have the required depth of knowledge and new ideas.
Stick with original viewpoints and thoughts that are engaging while informing. Keep the purpose of your blog in mind when writing posts.
Blogging software still needs a skilled writer to create marketable copy. Whoever is posting to your blog (you or your staff) need to understand the rules of writing including good grammar and punctuation.
That person should also be experienced with layout principles and know how people read online, what draws their attention, how to format a link correctly and much more.
Having challenges doing it yourself?
Get professional help.
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.com.
- 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.
WordPress is the best known blogging software, with about 40% of the world's sites using that software.
Blogger and other blogging platforms have much smaller installed bases.
There is also the option to build a custom blog using the same technology used to build websites.
There is a huge number of WordPress themes, both free 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.
WordPress's popularity can be a problem with security because, just like Windows, it offers more potentially vulnerable targets.
Hosting on WordPress.com
Blogs hosted on WordPress.com are updated automatically, including security fixes and theme updates.
If you hosting on WordPress.com, your blog address will be your user name before wordpress.com:
WordPress on Your Website
By downloading WordPress then installing it into your regular hosting site, your blog will be running alongside your main website:
When 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 security vulnerabilities.
Hosting reliability and support is a key concern for site owners.
I strongly recommend IslandHosting for its world-class hosting service and excellent support.
WordPress can be installed and maintained using the Installatron feature in cPanel.
Other 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 (the various Microsoft blogs are one example).
Requirements are Different
Blogging software runs independently and doesn't have the overhead required by WordPress and similar CMSs.
Big Learning Curve
Dedicated blogging 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.
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.
The blog format is 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 then posting to your blog.
Russ has created and maintained custom blogs like this for clients. Postings are provided by email (usually in MS Word format) then the post is generated from that file, adding necessary links, images and formatting.