Saturday, May 4, 2019

The blog boggler

What title could adequately describe, a conundrum, of the many different ways to set-up a blog? Nothing short of a tongue-twister, would do. Because that's what it feels like, trying to sift through all the options, and find ONE that's right for you. Luckily, I just finished torturing myself with the learning process - so I can shed a bit of light on what's involved, for others.

Basically, it's a choice between a company that specialises in making blogging as EASY, and user friendly as possible - for both the author, and the audience. Like Blogger and Wordpress. They have free blogs, with ready-made templates for you to move straight in to.

The second option, is to set up a blog, through a website.

The latter, it's a little more complicated, than just blogging. It requires creating a whole new website, for your blog to nestle into. This includes designing different pages from scratch (Home, About, etc) your website logo, and branding. This is all before getting to the blogging part! In some website builders, you construct each blog post from scratch too. Every. Single. Time. Luckily, I enjoy doing all that stuff as well.

With your own website, there is the possibility of running into technical problems. Which I've encountered recently, with Weebly. One of the elements weren't working, in the comment box. After many volleys between myself and the support team, I decided to nix the default comment box, Weebly supplied - and go with a third party, one.

Another third party, getting involved with my comment box!! Recollections of Google+. Thankfully Disqus has been operating for a long time, and many of the websites I follow, like Geoff Lawton's, also uses this embedded comment box. It provides the option to change web hosting companies, in future too, without losing my comments. As Disqus can be migrated over.

Bear in mind however, the price for your own website freedom, is to take full responsibility for running it. From conception, content creation and maintaining all the bits, which plug into it. That's the huge difference, and why I would encourage others to stay with their user-friendly blogging platforms - unless, you have a good reason to have your own website. Because it is a lot of responsibility, just to blog!

Thankfully for me, this new website happens to coincide with a few items, I've been wanting to cross off my bucket-list. So it's something I want to achieve. These new responsibilities, are a learning opportunity, and valuable skill-set to add to my repertoire. If I didn't have that drive and purpose though, I may not enjoy what can sometimes feel like a torturous learning curve.

Please let me know, why you would consider setting up your own website? Even if you're not in a position to follow through. Because it doesn't hurt to imagine what's possible.


  1. It is a huge learning curve and good for you for not only tackling it, but being willing to take the time to explain it to others. So often the "help" sections on these platforms don't explain a thing! lol

    I set up a website when I published my first book (Kikobian Books). I wanted a regular website presence to direct folks to for more information about my books and where to buy them. I then added a Wordpress blog to it for an author blog (Building A Book). That was a headache, but Wordpress is the main platform website hosts seem to offer, unless they offer it as part of a website template (like Weebly.) I wanted to try Wordpress anyway, to compare to Blogger. I don't get a lot of traffic there, but I like having a place to record my writing ventures.

    After that I added a second website to the same host for my goats (Kikobian Kinders). Another learning curve and it didn't quite work out as I'd hoped. But again, it's a place to direct people for information and photographs.

    Keeping them updated is a chore! Especially the book website since the links (to book sellers) frequently change. I'm working on a new index page now, as well as updating descriptions and links. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy it. Sounds like you do too! I'm looking forward to your unveiling. :)

    1. I know what you're saying about the "help" platforms, lol. But I suppose they have products to move, and won't readily advertise what an enormous responsibility it is, to use their products. I guess that's up to the buyer, to beware. Once you get over than initial hump though, it starts to get a little easier.

      I've read about people with multiple websites and blogs, but I didn't realise how extensive your experience with it, was. Well done for getting them all going. I suppose it was the case of getting one up, at a time. I bet you have a good routine, for updating them all. Yes, to all that maintenance though. Email lists, regular newsletters and contact forms, all come under this category too.

      I'm looking forward to it, because it's something I want to do. But I didn't realise how extensive it was, until setting up a website of my own. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have visitors expected today, but I hope to check out your websites.

  2. Goodness me, Chris! That sounds so complicated. I think I will stick with good old Blogger. I know nothing about coding etc. so that platform will have to do for me. Good on you though for persevering.

    1. Absolutely yes, to complicated, lol. But surprisingly easy to absorb, if taken in manageable pieces. My life wasn't ready until last year, to get the ball rolling. So I completely understand, the process won't be the right fit for everyone's circumstances. Despite the Google+ fiasco, I still think Blogger is the easiest and most flexible platform to use, for it's free price tag. Wordpress is good too, but it will charge you for options, Blogger won't. Like getting rid of Ads.

  3. Oooh! Too complicated for me. I'll stick with Wordpress, ads and all. But it's good to know the ins and outs, so thanks for sharing. I presume this is costing you, so roughly, how much?

    1. It's cost approximately $175, thus far. I purchased the domain name for 5 years, and the website for 2. I could have made it free, with Weebly, if I didn't want to use a domain name. But getting one for our property, was on my bucket list - but also a form of personal affirmation. There's something about laying money down, which sharpens perspective. I was always going to stick within a budget though. So if I cannot make the website, justified/work in five years, then I'll pull the plug. But I'm determined to make it work. So very determined. :)

  4. And I still had to do the captcha thing for the above post (and probably for this one). I thought you'd got rid of that.

  5. I logged-out, so I could post an anonymous comment - to see what captcha verification process you were referring to. It seems the simple tick-box option remains, instead of the blurry word and numbers. As I did disable the word verification in dashboard. I suppose Blogger still requires verification you're not a spam-bot, with the tick-box.

    The Disqus comment box on my new website, doesn't have captcha though (I think). With a few more options, than signing in with a Google account. But I'll explain more, when I link to my new website, very soon. It's birthday month for our two kids, so I've been trying to wrap up the new website, between all that, lol. :)


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