If it is your intent to create a blog website for the purpose of having an online business presence, then there are a few important decisions you need to make.
Running a business, whether it is from the online world or offline, requires work and preparation. Choosing to go at it online is a little more involved than just getting a job. Think about having a website as having another store location. The website (blog) is supposed to direct potential customers to you so they become leads, prospects, or actual paying customers. Your physical store is closed at certain times but your business website NEVER closes.
Whether you have decided that you wish to run your business solely from a website or in unison with your offline establishment, there are two ways you can go building your online property.
Steps to Create Blog Website
First step is to decide if you want a free Blog or do you actually want to OWN it.
More on the pros and cons regarding paid or free can be found here.
The Difference Between a Blog and a Website
Historically a “website” was a static site that was used like a postcard for a business. It basically just gave the information that a person was looking for and had to be written, programmed, and updated by a person who was educated to write and maintain websites.
Their job would be to update with sale notices or make changes as needed. The job also included local server issues when the company had their own.
At one time having a website meant you had to have the technology to write one of the languages and how to write databases – commonly HTML, PHP, ASP.NET, MySQL, Java, C++, etc plus the ability to put it out on the World Wide Web.
This process got simpler with applications like Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression.
Writing a static website today is much simpler and can actually be done using Microsoft Word or iWeb on your Mac. The website design applications get fancier from there.
Whats in a Blog
For starters, a Blog is EXTREMELY powerful and simple dimple to use.
For a while a blog was considered quite different than a website because of its appearance and what it was being used for. A Blog was the term used for Web log and people began using them as an online diary of sorts.
They were build on a blogging platform which is very user friendly on the front end and extremely powerful on the back end. It uses a Content Management System (CMS) meaning it requires little to no coding from you and can be built using simple point and click.
As the Blog evolved a community of developers was formed. There are different ones that include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. I suggest WordPress but if you want to read about the differences because you feel you might want something different, then read about the best blogging platform for your business.
There are two types of WordPress in the way that one is a free platform found at WordPress.com where you have limited control but they will host it free for you. The other is also free at WordPress.org but you have to pay for your own hosting.
Free Hosted WordPress is great! BUT you have several limitations. They include limited modifications, limited plugins, and then there is those horror stories where people have poured their heart and soul into building a website and then having it stolen or shut down.
The BIGGEST reason NOT to go with free hosting is the rules against advertising, affiliate links OR in other cases you are obligated to allow the host to use your site for their own advertising.
For all the reasons to help you decide read free vs paid website hosting
In a nutshell – paid hosting means control over your business and business website.
Another good reason to have your fully owned and operated blog is to be able to leverage valuable (but free) wordpress user generated content.
What is Web hosting?
A web hosting company has a bunch of servers, sometimes in one location or all over the world. The servers are like the hard drive on your computer because they store all the files for your website. These servers are connected to the World Wide Web and when someone “calls” your website using the uniform resource locator (URL) which is your website address in the form of http://bigbusinessinside.com.
HTTP is for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It works to retrieve the linked information from all around the Web.
WWW is World Wide Web You might notice that my site does not use the www. They don’t need to and the search engines are quite capable of finding your site with or without it. The history of the World Wide Web is really quite a fascinating story that I suggest you read the book if you want to learn more about it.
Basically all this really means is you MUST have a web hosting service if you want to have a blog.
Next thing you have to do is choose a web hosting company.