Small Business Blog – Getting Started – WordPress Or Blogger

You have a business. You love it. And you want to share your knowledge on the internet to attract more customers and serve the ones you have. You can write and use spell check. (Of course you can, you have a business license.) Now how can you set up a web site? Is a blog too easy to look professional?

It depends. If don’t put any effort into the content and setup of your blog it will show. But good content and consistency can trump a flashy custom site. If you are technical enough to manage a web site, a good content management system like WordPress can speed you on your way to a professional looking blog. If the words “manage a web site” made you shudder, then a Blogger account might serve you better.

What are the differences between WordPress and Blogger? First of all, there are two ways to use WordPress, one is WordPress.com, which is non-commercial. So it is not an option for your small business. The other is WordPress, the software, which you can download for free from WordPress.org and set up on a host of your choosing. Blogger is hosted for you, and now gives you the option of registering a domain, which can be your business name (if available).

How do you setup a quick, attractive site on Blogger? It’s easy. Go to blogger.com, and create an account. If you already have a gmail account, or any other account with Google, you can use it. If not, choose Create Your Blog Now and follow the prompts. You’ll be able to name your blog and choose a template that suits the style of your business. If you feel like customizing your blog, you can do so. If that doesn’t interest you, you can start writing immediately.

If you want more control over your site, and are willing to pay for it and do a bit more technical work, consider WordPress with self hosting. You can get information on hosting requirements and instructions on nearly everything WordPress related at wordpress.org. Once you choose a host, you’ll need to register your domain, if you don’t already have one. If you choose to self host, remembering to make backups of your site is very important.

Why would you want to go to the trouble of finding a host, setting up everything yourself and being responsible for your backups? And why would you pay for what you can get for free? Customization is not free. If you want your blog site to have a design completely unique to you and your business, then you need to have full access to the server and all of your sites files. You will not get that with a free service. (Though, of the free blog hosting services, Blogger does allow javascripting.)

And there is your decision: Do you prefer ease of use or control? What is worth more to you and your business vision, customization or the ability to set up your site quickly without much technical knowledge?

Technology doesn’t need to be boring.

— Christine Decourlande

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