How to Set Up a Blog

January 16, 2009

in blogging,Internet

by Tina Gasperson

Blogs and bloggers are all over the Internet these days. Anyone who wants to can have an online presence in the form of a blog – short for Web log, where daily posts can take the form of news articles, diary entries, or anything in between. “I’m blogging now,” you might have heard one or more of your friends and acquaintances say. If you want to get in on the blogging action, it’s easy and cheap to do once you know where to look.

Most beginning bloggers will choose one of the many free hosted services such as WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, or Xanga. Once you’ve registered with the site, you get your own URL that points the world to your blog, and an administrative account so you can write posts and edit the appearance of your blog to the extent allowed by the service. Most services give you the option of several themes. You can also choose to moderate comments, make posts password-protected, and allow visitors to subscribe to your posts and/or to the comments on your posts. You’ll also get limited traffic statistic information. Hosted services are a great way to get started in the blogging arena, since the ease-of-use generally offsets the limited amount of control you have over your site. Still, many veteran bloggers also use these services and swear by them.

Wordpress blog

Wordpress blog

Once you’ve tested the blogging waters, you may decide you want more control over your blog. Hosting your own blog means you have much more control over the software, the appearance, and the features of your blog. It also means you have more responsibility and probably some financial obligation as well. Most self-hosted blogs require you to purchase a domain name and then pay a monthly or yearly fee for hosting. Depending on which host you use, this can be quite affordable or very expensive. It makes sense to select a hosting plan that allows you to pay month-to-month and offers a basic plan. Your blog probably won’t need an advanced plan with extra bandwidth to start out. Look for a host that offers automated installation of a range of software choices using an application like Fantastico. Many hosts offer this service now at no extra charge, which makes it easy for you to set up your blog with a click or two, but still maintain an extra level of control over one of the hosted services. Whether you choose hosted or self-hosted, it’s never been easier to set up your own blog.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.