#2. Choosing The Best Blogging Platform For You

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Image Source: Create Her Stock

This is the second Wednesday in the ‘So You Want To Blog’ series, whoop whoop! The first one is still here.

Welcome, welcome. I’m happy you are here. 😀

For the next couple Wednesdays, we are here to demystify the process with the inspiration, encouragement, and information you need to start your very own blog. If you’ve been thinking about starting, if you’re a newbie to blogging, you’ll learn more than a thing or two if you stick around 🙂

The big question for today is “Where?”

WHERE WILL YOU BLOG?

If you’d like to blog in the traditional sense, you’re probably considering the most popular platforms right now: Blogger or WordPress, but they aren’t the only ones. There’s Weebly. There’s also Squarespace.

Aesthetically, Squarespace rocks. If you don’t mind spending money on your blog from day 1, you can (and should) host your blog on Square Space, starting at $8 per month. Squarespace has the cleanest templates in the game. It’s much easier to achieve the clean, sleek aesthetic you dream of, with Squarespace.

But, we are here for the basics, right? So let’s stick to the free stuff 😀

Weebly is cute, but it’s not as popular as Blogger or WordPress. One thing I like about it is, you can present your posts in slideshow format, if you like that. It’s an option worth checking out still. #AllOptionsAreValid

SO. BLOGGER OR WORDPRESS.COM?

WordPress, of course. We (as in MeeMee & I) are here for a reason.

When you have a free blog on blogger, your web address is yourblog.blogspot.com, and on WordPress.com it is yourblog.wordpress.com.

If you’re reading this and you already have a blog, do you care to tell us why you chose your platform?

I first tried Blogger when I started blogging. It is easy to set up your account, and put your posts together. But that’s about where it ends.

WordPress is easy to set up as well, and in my opinion, easier to use. The new look it’s got these days, is simple but sometimes, when my brain is slow, I just prefer to use the old admin layout. In terms of appearances, unlike Blogger which offers you a few dead themes- they are templates, really, WordPress has so much more for you to choose from, with even more customizable options if you upgrade.

If you’re a little techie, you can tweak the look of your free Blogger blog with html, download a theme, many designers have themes for blogs on blogger- unlike wordpress.com, where you are limited to the options you can use or buy on the site itself. Some of these Blogger themes are free, but for a nice $30 or less, you can find something really clean. Carrie Loves Design is one of such designers.

As a newbie blogger, I really wasn’t ready to do that. So again, if you’re considering wordpress or blogger, I say, WordPress.com.

Both sites (Blogger & WordPress) have apps for use on smartphones, iPads, tabs, so you can manage blog from anywhere. I love the WordPress app. I use it on my iPhone, and it’s also great on Blackberry.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORDPRESS.COM AND WORDPRESS.ORG?

WordPress.org is for self-hosted blogs and websites. You don’t get free themes- well, there are some free themes but nothing attractive. There, you practically build your site. We are actually moving to WordPress.org really soon. We have been doing this for a bit now, so we think we are better prepared to handle more technical aspects of running this blog. We are also in the process of hiring people to do this and it’s not cheap so, if you can’t do this setting up yourself, you really should enjoy your rent- free stay on WordPress.com. Paid plans on wordpress.com are an option as well. 😀

Update: Here’s this long but really good read on Blogging Thing. There, you’ll find in much detail, all you need to know about choosing WordPress.org or WordPress.com. 

You may want to try out the different platforms for yourself, but make a decision soon enough. If you later move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, you can retain your blog statistics- numbers of visitors to your blog, views, all that. If you transfer to Squarespace for instance, or vice versa, you lose your stats and you’ll start over. You might not mind this, but if you ever intend to monetize your blog, don’t wait till you start counting the stats before you move. It can pain.

I didn’t want to talk about Tumblr, I think it will come up later in this series, because it’s more of a “community”. Generally, you have to be a member, I mean- have a Tumblr blog to comment, reblog, make any impact on a Tumblr post. Some Tumblr blogs use DIsqus for their comments- but I think this is getting a little less simple now. To be discussed in a bit!

GET YOUR DOT COM (PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT)

We did this late but thankfully, nobody registered thekinkandi.com before we did.

We had been thinking about this for ages, but #LindaGate was the final push. Popular Nigerian entertainment & gossip news blogger Linda Ikeji was harassed in 2014 or so. Long story but, part of the reason for her stress was that someone had registered lindaikeji.com, and he had been charging her a ridiculous sum of money to release it.

Yes o, I don’t know how that is not some kind of crime. But, on the bright side, let’s say that maybe these people deserve a shout out for believing in your blog before you cared enough to even claim your domain.

KlassyKinks also had a similar issue with her blog. She had to perch over at klassy-kinks.com until she bought klassykinks.com from the shady person who had registered it.

Aaaaanyway. I hear you. You don’t care for a dot com. You’re just trying to do this small thing, just blog, like whatever, what is this stress?

But listen. It’s no big deal. Once upon a time, getting a domain was an expensive thing. Not anymore. You can get your dot com domain on blogger/wordpress.com. It costs $18 a year on WordPress. OR. For a few dollars, you can register your dot com domain on GoDaddy. If you’re in Nigeria, you could easily buy your domain in Naira on one.com. As at today, it would cost you 2,825 Naira to set up. All you need is your card (Visa or Mastercard). You can also set this up at no cost in a way that your (dot com) gets bounced back to your blog. On these sites, you can even get emails set up. It looks good, and it’s well worth the (relative) change. To clarify, one.com is not a Nigerian site, but it’s one that lets you pay in naira, and it’s more straightforward than GoDaddy.

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Okay guys. I think this sums up the introductions. Next week, we’ll start talking about your actual content for your blog!

I feel like today’s topic is pretty basic, but it just had to be done. If this helped you, let me know. If you have a blog, where are you hosting it, and why? Do you agree or disagree with anything I have said? Your 2 cents on this particular topic? Feel free to drop it!

P.S. We have an ongoing giveaway on our Instagram page @thekinkandi. Delivery to Lagos only! x

Love,

AB,

xx

42 thoughts on “#2. Choosing The Best Blogging Platform For You

  1. Hi, I just started a blog recently after deciding to go with blogger. I am now thinking of buying a dotcom with the options of godaddy and one.com which you gave. Of course I want to go with the one that is cheaper due to the recent economic conditions and also very good. I got confused at their prices and duration. Is it possible for you to clarify since you have extensive knowledge on these things.
    Thank you.

  2. I started blogging because I was running out of space on my Ipad for my hair diary (2 years worth of data lol). So I started on blogger to add my entries and to continue with my journey. Then people started going on my blog to comment, ask questions, and share their stories. So I wanted to make it official! Plus people kept seeing my pics online and asked about my site. So I purchased my .com and did lots of coding for my blog to look more like a website. I’m still coding after a year or so to make my site better. I tried wordpress, but it was way too different from blogger and I don’t like change lol

  3. I agree with your analysis of blogger. It was not visually appealing. I like wordpress.com but perhaps, I am a not gifted with tech skills, because I still find formatting and design on wordpress to be slightly challenging. It is an area I want to work on this year to give my blog a facelift.

    1. Hey Kiki! I don’t know much (yet) about web hosting & all that, which is why we paid someone to handle it. thekinkandi.com is being developed, and hosted on Blue Host. Our developer is doing well so far, and we trust him.

  4. Thanks for the info. I have been thinking of building a site too since we now have products and we’d like to add a shop. We have been seriously thinking about what steps to take. This helps though. Thanks again.

  5. Hi!

    I’m confused. If you set up a blog on word press and register your domain on one.com or something then you’re paying for the domain and to connect it the blog or just for the domain?

    1. Hey Zaynab, if you set up on wordpress.com and register your domain on one.com or godaddy or wherever, they have a free option for you to automatically link hits on your domain to your present blog. For instance, last year, thekinkandi.com directed readers to our.wordpress.com. (This has been disabled though, since we are now building the website.) [Does this answer your question?]

  6. My blog used to be hosted by blogger,itvhadbits advantages and all but I had always admired WordPress. And I love that WordPress unites bloggers together and we get to interact unlike blogger. WordPress anytime ✌️🏾👊🏾

  7. I was using Blogger before but I made a switch to WordPress this year because I feel as though WordPress.com is much easier than Blogger.com to use. Where self-hosting is concerned I am thinking about doing that sooner than later. Great post by the way.

  8. lol, you gave me a business idea. register domain and sell them. Ive always wondered why linda ikeji is still on blogger, but she can afford to pay the guy sha.
    I started with blogger but moved to wordpress when i started taking things seriously. wordpress is for the big guys and blogger is for newbies since it`s easier to use.
    btw, your site is still on wordpress.com
    coilsandglory.com

  9. I agree with you AB, Blogger’s platform is so confusing and their templates are bleh, WordPress has more features and is easy to understand and navigate.
    The only thing I like about Blogger is how they can download cool themes from etsy.com while we WordPress.com users have to stick to the generic themes unless we get hosted (WordPress.org) then we can download themes.
    For newbies, if you like the interface of WordPress.com you’d like Blog.com (e.g – yourblog.blog.com), I used it for a while but jumped back to WordPress to understand how it works and really, there’s a ‘chat bar’ which you can use to communicate your problems with any WordPress Admin.

    Bookie Kunlere

  10. I’m not so much of a newbie but I started in November on blogspot but discovered wordpress was a lot better with the cute layouts and beautiful themes. Thanks for the heads up about registering a domain.

  11. I use blogger. Same reason as everyone here that uses blogger- Google. Sign up, start blogging. I was new to blogging and took the path of least resistance.
    I should have gone with wordpress. I prefer the look of wordpress blogs a million times over and I’m very restless to move. It’s hard to change anything on blogger, I’m not very techy. Write code? Snort.
    Please recommend someone that will just do all of it for me. From buying my domain name to moving me to wordpress.org. Abeg.

  12. I chose Blogger because like Berry said, Google and also it was easier for me..sign up and start blogging. Then got a domain name because writing out nappilynigeriangirl.com was easier than writing nappilynigeriangirl.blogspot.com.
    Customizing my blog was also easier to understand in Blogger than the WordPress I helped a friend open.
    However, I still think WordPress has a cleaner layout than blogger unless you want to buy already customized blogger templates.

  13. I use word press, for no particular reason oh. Just started, so just learning I like the Info about one.com and I’m checking it out immediately. Thanks guys!

  14. When I started blogging, I searched for themes first because I’ve always wanted my blog to represent a website that I would love to visit over and over again. After a few weeks, I settled on WordPress.

    A year and the half later, my blog seriously grew and I wanted more so I moved to wordpress.org. Now I can customize my blog without limits.

    Oh plus, I always preferred the sound of igbocurls.com over igbocurls.wordpress.com so even while I was on wordpress.com I quickly bought the domain name igbocurls.com.

  15. Wow! Thanks so much for this. I was just thinking of taking my blogger account to the next level. I chose blogger because I already have an experience using WordPress and o wanted to know what blogging felt like on blogger. With this info now I can buy a new template for my blog and get the .com without the blogspot added to it.

  16. I used to own a domain name (redirected to blogger) until UBA broke my heart. I wasn’t able to renew my subscription and now I have to pay $70 to retrieve it. As sad as that is, man gats to move on. And move on, I will.

    Thanks for this post. Hosting on WordPress won’t be a bad idea right now.

  17. Nice, I had a similar experience! I started blogging during law school with two of my friends and we used Blogger. Then I started my current blog with my friend in ’13 on WordPress.com. I didn’t even know the difference between the .com and .org until after when I realized that we were limited with customization (we couldn’t add any plug ins). Earlier this month, we moved to the .org. We signed up for Bluehost and migrated the site. We are still working out some kinks, but things are good so far. I’m so glad the dashboard is virtually the same. The only thing that is annoying is that all of our likes are gone 🙁 but we have all our followers and comments. We love WordPress though. Blogger was cool too but I really like the ease of use and templates of wordpress.

  18. I never tried blogger, just went to wordpress at once! I can’t remember why but I don’t regret it. I mean the variability of the themes alone is exciting!!

  19. Hi Ekene,

    I chose WordPress because the layout appeared tidier compared to Blogger.

    @ ” …these people deserve a shout out for believing in your blog before you cared enough to even claim your domain.” 😀

    Very informative series. Well done!

  20. I’ve been using self-hosted WordPress (wordpress.org) since I started my blog. I like that I’m able to customize things. I’ve been having some issues with my hosting service lately so I may check out some of the links you posted.

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