Step 2: Killer tips for choosing a web host
I started this little series because so many of my friends and buddies want to start blogging. When you’re an over 40 blogger, some of the terms and processes may seem foreign to you. After all, we didn’t grow up with technology like the millennials. Technology for us was Atari and …hmmm.. what else? Was that it?
Anyhooseee, if you read my first post on, you have a have a pretty good idea what your new blog is about and maybe even have a name selected. Yaaaay!
In my opinion, this is the toughest part of creating your blog. The writing and expressing oneself is easy. But, narrowing your idea to a workable concept is often daunting.
Alright, you’re ready to think about how to get your new “blog baby” online.
Now is a good time to say, I’m not blogging expert. I’m just an ordinary mom and “hobby blogger” enjoying a little chump change from affiliates as I write about my interests.
With that said, let’s continue.
Blogging is a commitment for some people and an intellectual and emotional release for others. If earning extra cash is your goal, blogging will be an all-consuming effort, at least in the beginning. I found a great blog post called “5 Things You Need to Accept if You’re a Blogger” from Dia at http://www.allthethingsido.com.
Experienced bloggers, do you agree?
If you’re like me, you’re blogging for fun.
Which makes it a lower priority and you blog mostly for enjoyment.
Either way, it’s a good idea to try it for a while and see if this is something you really want to do. I suggest you commit to at least 3 months of consistent blogging. By the end of the 3 months, you’ll have a good idea if you want to continue or go on to something more fun for you.
At this point, you may be asking “what are the best ways to get online? So many options exist.
Blogger for your first blog…
Say you’re a total newbie (I’m assuming you are) and you want simplicity.
Then, I think Blogger is a great choice for you.
It’s user-friendly interface and requires no HTML or special programming experience. For instance, if you want to add an image or picture to your blog post, it’s super easy! Simply click the “picture” graphic (see red arrow) and upload it to your site. It’s really that super simple.
It also offers stats, instant Google+ sharing and more. It’s a great first start for any novice blogger. In fact, I know several experienced and successful bloggers that stick with it. It’s a matter of choice. You may also link it to a domain. Nice option.
I also like Blogger because it seems (emphasis on “seems”) my blog gets into the Google search engine much quicker than my WordPress start-ups. Some bloggers and SEO experts disagree, but this is my personal experience.
These is why I opt for this platform whenever I launch a new blog project for myself or a client. After about 10 posts, I submit to searching engines – especially Google.
I let it sit there for about month or two (while adding new content) and I transition it to WordPress.org (will talk more about that in a bit).
Migration can be a test of one’s patience, but I like Greg Narayan’s Youtube videos for migration.
Blogger requires a Gmail account. I recommend creating a Gmail account exclusively for your blogging purposes. Don’t use your personal account. As you make “blogger” friends and join affiliate programs (to promote items for commission) your incoming mail will clutter your inbox and you won’t be able to decipher your person emails from your business emails. No fun.
The not so identical twins – WordPress Com and Org
At some point, you’ve likely visited a Worpress blog. It’s unarguably the most popular blogging platform out there.
There is a bit of a learning curve with it. But, it’s not difficult to use, just…different.
That’s a little about WordPress.Com. See the interface below:
It’s sister is WordPress.org (WP.Org). This option offers a world of flexibility, choices and features. Most bloggers love it for it’s array of plug-ins that can make your blog do side flips, if you’d like it to!
You will also get Jetpack which provides great resources for your blog as well. Stats, plug-ins, security and even share bars (so people can share your blog on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) There are many, many more. I’m just trying to keep things relatively simple.
One benefit of a WP.org site is you can buy your own domain and link it to the site.
WordPress.Com doesn’t offer a domain option. Instead, your blog will have a “.wordpress.com” extension. For example, if my blog was a wordpress.com blog it would be my40somethinglife.wordpress.com.
WordPress.org. is the next step up in functionality and allows you to use your own domain. The sky is the limit and you can name your blog just about anything: as long as the domain name is available.
If you go the .Org route…
My blog is a self-hosted WordPress site. That’s why it’s www.my40somethinglife.com <http://www.my40somethinglife.com> and not my40somethibglife.wordpress.com. Direct and simple. I use HostGator for both my domain purchase and my web hosting.
You need a hosting company like Hostgator to actually hold the website files necessary to get your blog active on the web. Hosting will cost you anywhere between $5.00 and $15.00 a month. Your domain may be about the same each year depending on which host you choose. Hostgator has great sales and discounts. I especially love their customer service. They always go over and above to solve my problem.
If you use them, please click my graphic above.
I’m a referral affiliate and will get some chump change for my effort. 🙂
Have I confused you? If so, don’t worry, it will get worse. 🙂 Just kidding.
Let me backtrack for you:
You have two popular options for your blogging platform.
1. Blogger – free and listed in Google quickly. Only investment is if you choose to purcase a domain name to your Blogger account.
2. WordPress.Com – free, but maybe tricky for a beginner. No personal domain. No investment required.
3. WordPress.Org – for the more secure blogger. Requires a domain and a host. Small investment required.
Now it’s time for your homework. Just for fun, do some research on both Blogger and WordPress. Create a gmail account and play around with the Blogger interface. Do the same with WordPress.
I welcome your feedback and any tips on what I may have missed.
Please share, like, etc.