There are basically two types of blog platforms; the hosted and the self-hosted platforms respectively. When choosing which platform to used, several factors should be considered. These include the purpose of one’s blog, budget and blogger background.
Ask yourself what type of blog you are planning to create? Is it your online journal? Do you want the whole world to read your blog posts? Are you planning to post pay per click ads? Are you going to do product reviews? Are you going to concentrate on writing personal experiences or are your writing sponsored posts? Not all blogs have the same needs. Income-generating blogs need a platform that can meet its special needs and requirements.
Budget and funds
Most platforms are free and these types are perfect for those who blog as a pastime or hobby. However, blogs that post ads, banners, payperclicks and sponsored content should prepare for blog platforms that they may need to purchase.
As mentioned earlier, blog platforms can either be hosted by a third party provider of independently hosted.
Hosted blog platforms
When using this type of platform, this means that one’s blog is carried by the third party’s server. Blogger.com and WordPress.com are examples of hosted blog platforms.
Bloggers prefer them as they are free, very easy to manage and does not require one to know what those codes mean. If your blog is hosted, you may need to carry the third party’s name in your blog URL. A good example is mamamia.wordpress.com, which means that one’s blog is housed by wordpress.com. Most hosted blog platforms are also picked up by search engine quickly. They are so simple to run when installing them. Every aspect in one’s blog is already taken care of.
One main drawback of hosted blog platforms are the limitations set by the third party provider. Customization may be allowed but limited only to a number of templates that one can choose. Generic URLs can also have less appeal to the readers as well.
Self-hosted blog platforms
Blogs that are run independently have their own web hosting account, control panel and software that the blogger himself installed on the server host. In this type of platform, you have full control of your blog design and activity. Blogs that use self-hosted blog platforms also convey a more professional look and feel.
Independent blog platforms that are commonly used by bloggers include WordPress.org (should not be confused with its .com version which is hosted), Joomla and Typepad’s Movable Type.
Self-hosted blogs have unique URLs and this could warrant readers’ attention. The good thing about these URLs is that the blogger himself can choose which URL he can use. Blogs ran independently also offer flexible layout and customization is very possible. Just like in hosted platforms, templates are also available for those who are not really familiar with platform languages. They also support plugin applications that can help increase blog traffic.
Technical problems may come up so it is recommended to always have a back-up file handy. One may also need to pay for the domain name and hosting services of the web host. A self-hosted platform is not advisable for those who are new to blogging.