Friday, October 21, 2011

Where should I host my blog?

This question is possibly the hardest decision you have to make before starting your blog. You can either choose free blog-optimized hosting, paid domain hosting, or paid premium blog-optimized hosting.
Firstly, just to give you some of the basics, blog-optimized hosting is where your (sub-)domain will be www.(your chosen name).(your hosting's name).com. An example of this would be Blogger (e.g. Paid blog-optimized hosting usually has more features and more storage space for you to upload items into your website.
Domain hosting is where you have to buy a domain name (e.g., buy hosting space (although it is actually renting), before you can create a blog.

Here are the pros and cons of each type of hosting:

Blog-Optimized Hosting (whether free or paid)
  1. No costs for building your blog
  2. Blog comes pre-installed, saving any fuss or hassle
  3. You can start as many blogs as you like
  4. You can practically create a blog, choose a domain and do up your first post within 5 minutes
  1. Very few features compared to other types of hosting^
  2. Little flexibility with domain name as most good domain names are already taken up
  3. Your domain name is longer
  4. You cannot use CSS^ (which is a type of script used to design and configure things such as fonts and colours) and upload your own webpages
  5. You cannot upload anything with the exception of photos and possibly videos^
  6. You cannot upload too many photos or create too much stuff on your blog because of space limits^
^ means that this does/may not apply for paid blog-optimized hosting.

Domain Hosting
  1. Many features, usually even more than paid blog-optimized hosting
  2. More flexibility with domain names and more domain extensions (e.g. &
  3. Shorter domain names
  4. CSS can be used and other webpages can be created and uploaded onto your blog
  5. Movies, photos, PDF files and practically anything can be uploaded.
  6. Space limits are quite high and are sometimes unlimited so you can upload as many things you want.
  7. You can create email accounts for your blog (e.g.
  8. You can install Google Adsense and other widgets like Google Maps, games and can use java and flash.
  9. You can treat it as a portable computer! (Simply because its online, you can access it from anywhere as long as you have internet access and have the password that you create when you create a domain)
  1. Costs can vary from $2 a month per month to as much as $20 per month (only if you are a company or want professional support and other features)
  2. Some websites do not have the software to install a blog platform immediately
  3. You cannot start as many blogs as you like (unless you have unlimited space)
  4. It takes time to set up the blog (about a week or so)
For domain hosting, you need to get a good hosting provider. Popular ones include Bluehost, Hostgator and Inmotion Hosting(more for businesses).

What should I name my blog?

Naming your blog is a very important step indeed. Yes, you may think that you can just give your blog any fancy name and you're ready. No, that is absolutely wrong.
The first mistake that people make is creating a really long name. By this, I mean that even a 4 letter name is too long already.
Research has shown that an average person would tend to remember only 3 things at most. Too long names also makes typing your blog's URL very troublesome. Hence, try to stick to names which are short and sweet.
Another thing to take note of is that the names should not be boastful or critical. For example, we should not name a blog "John's Awesomeness" or "John's Super Cool Blog". This just makes people think you are crazy and are not going to blog properly.
One good name for a personal blog would be something simple like "John's Diary". For other types of blogs, the creativity is with you.
Here's a simple list of guidelines you should follow:
- Your blog's name should consist of one to three letters
- Your blog's name should not be boastful

Type-specific guidelines or examples of names:

Personal Blog
- (Name)'s Diary
- (Name)
- (Name)'s Blog

How-to Blogs or Guides
* In this section I shall refer to the thing that you are writing about as 'do this'. Also note that you can exceed the 3 word limit here
- How to (do this)
- Guildlines to (doing this)
- The Simplest Guide to (doing this)
- (Adjective that describes a good outcome) (doing this) --> For example this blog's name

News Blogs
- For this type of blogs, it is truly up to you and your creativity to decide the name. It really depends on what kind of news you're going to  be blogging about.

Photography Showcase
- (Name)'s Photography
- Photographing with (Name)
- Photographing (somethings)
- (Name)'s Travels --> If you are taking photographs when travelling

Showcase of event
- (Event)

Company Blog
- (Company name)
- (Company name) Official Blog

Blog for Reviewing Products
- (Type of products)
- Other names or nicknames related to the industry

Blogs for Criticism
- Why I think (this) should change?
- Why I feel that (this scheme) is not best?
- Is (this) really the path to take?
- Should we (do this)?

DIscussion Boards
- (Topic)
- (Things related to the industry)

Why should I blog?

Before blogging, we need to have a reason to blog. Why am I doing this? What is my goal? What is my desired outcome? Many of us may be blogging for no reason. And that's the problem. When we do not have a reason, are we not just wasting our precious time? One reason people blog is a passion they have for a certain interest. Another would be to create an online diary and write about what he or she has gone through that day. However, some people create blogs just to take up the best sub-domains and later sell their blogs to other people. Well, I truly hope you're not doing that. So, back to the main point, use a sheet of paper to list down your aim of the blog and what you are going to write about. Only when you are very sure that you're target is practical and realistic, should you start a blog.