After receiving several emails inquiring about blogging platforms, I thought I would create a post for bloggers discussing the subject. While I highly suggest hiring a designer to create your own custom design, I realize that isn’t always in everyone’s budget from the get go, so I’m writing this from the perspective of template usage. The first thing you will need to do is decide which service you’d like to use for publishing. While there are many out there, the two that I always recommend are SquareSpace and WordPress ( self-hosted ). Their ease of use and support are what make them winners in my book, but I’ll dive more into them both below.
While I personally use WordPress, let’s start with SquareSpace ( SS ). Because if I hadn’t already paid for 2 years of hosting, I think I would switch over to SS sooner than later. You see, the thing that has always captured my attention with SS is their beautiful user interface. It’s much easier on the eyes and as a designer, I’ve definitely taken notice. Plus, they have several meticulously well designed templates that you can choose from and customize ( drag + drop style ), all of which do not require any HTML/CSS knowledge. A definite plus for beginners! Ultimately, you would receive a free domain name, an easily editable template, and a very secure website. It’s an all inclusive package that will leave you worry free.
Even thought SS seems all bright + shiny, WordPress ( WP ) should definitely be considered equally for the simple fact that it’s been around the block. It’s mature and has way more users + helpful resources for you to use. But if you’re thinking about going this route, I would 100% suggest self-hosting your WP blogging platform ( for customizing purposes ) with your own host. I personally use BlueHost and have loved their customer service, but WP Engine is another option that has built in security and support for your own piece of mind. The downside of self-hosting WP, though, is that it’s a little more involved to get yourself up and running. Unlike SS, you can’t simply click on a theme you want and have it published instantly. You will have to search for free or premium themes ( from websites like here or here ) and have them installed on your hosting account. The good news is that there are so many more templates available for you to choose from. Literally thousands with no end in sight. SS leaves you under 50, for now.
Like most things, SS and WP come with their own pros and cons, but the choice comes down to you. If you need something more out of the box and easy to use, I would tell you to choose SquareSpace. If you have a little bit of HTML/CSS knowledge or know somebody who does ( and are even willing to pay for it ), WordPress would be a great contender and leave you with potentially more customization choices in the end. So many decisions, I know. But hopefully this gives those of you considering blogging a good base to start from!