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There are four simple steps to creating a blog: choose a blogging platform, pick the topic and name, select a theme or template, and create content for your blog. If you follow these steps, you'll be able to get your blog live and ready for readers today!
Additionally, we'll cover a wide range of helpful blog building topics, including how to create a blog and make money, which website builders are best equipped for the job, and whether or not a free blog is a good fit for you.
As for which website builder we would recommend? Based on our expert testing and independent user feedback focused on their blogging functionality, we would vouch for the following:
- Squarespace – best for exceptional templates (Use code “TECHCO10” for 10% off)
- Wix – best for ease of use
- WordPress – best for affordability
- Weebly – best for value
- GoDaddy – best for easy set up
From a cost standpoint, these website builders won't ruin your budget. Squarespace came out on top as the best web builder for blogging thanks to its exceptional template offering, comment functionality, social media integrations, and more — and this builder's cheapest plan is just $14 a month as standard, or just $12.60 per month with code ‘TECHCO10′.
Of course, the way you create a site ultimately comes down to your budget, how much time you have, and what you want your blog site to be like. You could try building a blog for free as well – we'll explain later in this guide how to do that (and why we recommend you don't!).
Read on to discover the main steps anyone can follow to get your blog up and running in no time – no coding knowledging or big budgets required!
In this guide:
1. Choose a Blogging Platform
Creating a blog yourself isn't as hard as you might think, and modern website builders make this very affordable, too.
The easiest way to create a website is by using a website builder. These are interactive, browser-based tools that will let you create a website using one of their off-the-shelf templates.
Just because the templates are ‘ready-made’ doesn’t mean you’ll be left with an identikit site, though. You’ll be amazed just how professional looking the templates can be, and they leave lots of room for customization at every step of the way.
Blog writer profiles
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Best for beginners
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From our thorough testing, Squarespace emerged as the best website builder platform you can choose for blogging. We invited first-time users of website builders, plus more experienced users, to try various platforms, and feedback on how they found each one. We also appraised the features, plug-ins, apps and help & support available when forming our recommendations. From a blogging standpoint, we also measured a number of important features, like comments, user profiles, and search functionality, as well as some indirect blogging perks, like SEO, storage, and restore options.
Still, Squarespace isn't the only game in town, and there are lots of other high quality website builders you can choose.
Squarespace – Best for exceptional templates
Don't underestimate the power of a good-looking website when it comes to creating a blog. First impressions are everything and a beautiful template could keep readers on your blog for a lot longer than you think. With Squarespace, you are not only getting good a high functioning website builder with lots of features, but you also get access to some of the most aesthetically pleasing templates available from website builders in 2023.
Squarespace offers most of the core features when it comes to blogging as well, including writer profiles, categories, comments, and social media integrations. However, there are a few limitations they are worth noting, including a lack of meaningful analytics, which can be a dealbreaker for blog creators that need to know how they're doing. Additionally, the search function is only available on certain templates — Brine, Farro, and Skye — so you'll want to be sure you pick the right one out of the gate.
Overall, though, Squarespace is one of the best website builders out there, and its blogging functionality is up to snuff for the majority of use cases. Plus, those templates really put it in a league of its own.
- Get 10% off with code TECHCO10
- Email and social marketing tools
- Best knowledge center available
- Robust analytics features
- Native SEO keyword support
- Slower site speed
- No advanced customization options
Wix – Best for ease of use
When it comes to website builders, you can't get much better than Wix. As the top-rated option from our in-depth research, Wix provides everything a budding blogger could need to get a site up and running to host their blog. With virtually every blogging feature available in all templates, Wix provides the robust website builder necessary to handle any and all your blogging needs.
In fact, the only feature missing from Wix when it comes to blogging is the search function. Fortunately, Wix offers a wide range of third-party integrations, so you can simply download an app to have the search functionality implemented into your blog. Sure, its templates aren't as nice as Squarespace, but they still look pretty great, particularly compared to other competitors.
Wix also provides one of the easiest to use platforms, even for beginners, so you won't have to understand the technical side of website building to get by. Simply put, Wix is the best website builder out there, and it provides more than enough functionality to make a great choice for any blogger.
- Useful SEO best practice prompts
- Friendly onboarding experience
- Advanced business functionality like CRM
- Our top choice of ecommerce platform
- Can't change site design after publishing
- Slower server response time than some competitors
WordPress.com – Best for affordability
If you're looking into blogging, there's no chance you haven't heard of WordPress. As arguably the most well-known website builder in the world, WordPress accounts for nearly 500 million of the websites online today, and for good reason. The basic layout is easy for beginners and the affordable price is accessible to individuals and small businesses.
WordPress offers the majority of blogging features, like writer profiles, comments, social media integrations, and post scheduling. However, it is missing one key piece of blogging functionality that is designed to get people on your site: blog-focused SEO assistance. Missing this can be a big dealbreaker for bloggers looking to grow their audience as much as possible, as it helps you make your site discoverable on search engines.
Still, at the price, WordPress is absolutely a website builder to consider for blogging, if only because the community is so large and, outside of SEO, has a wide range of other tools to get you noticed online.
- Brilliant for bloggers
- Easy to set up
- Large and helpful user community
- Super mobile friendly (great for SEO)
- Not the best choice for ecommerce or business sites
- Slightly inflexible editor
Host a blog yourself
Building a website is infinitely easier with a website builder. However, if you're technically proficient enough to code and build a website yourself with a CMS, more power to you.
The process is decidedly more difficult, particularly if you aren't familiar with coding, but it can save you money, so this methodology is often free through providers like WordPress.org. If you came to this article wondering how you create a blog on WordPress, this could be the option for you.
However, if you're still going to need to host your website, and that won't be free. Most website builders provide free hosting, but if you build it yourself, you'll have to find a web hosting provider. Our top recommendation for web hosting providers is BlueHost, a popular, easy to use option that won't cost you too much.
2. Pick the topic and name for your blog
When we talk about a website’s domain, we’re basically talking about the website’s address. For example, Tech.co is the name of our website, and the domain is https://tech.co.
You’ll typically want your website’s domain to correspond with the name of your business, blog or whatever purpose you’re running it for – just so you don’t confuse people. Try writing up a list of possibilities and pick the best.
Most website builders will give you a free domain to get started with – but they’ll often have the name of the website builder shoehorned in. My imaginatively named cupcake restaurant, Cupcakes, would have the domain https://tomfogden.wixsite.com/cupcakes. It’s not exactly catchy, and you probably wouldn’t want to have your Wix username at the front of it.
In order to remove this paraphernalia from your domain name – yep, you guessed – you’ll have to pay. Fortunately, with most website builders, this comes as part of the cheapest plan.
Should you already be the proud owner of a domain, you’ll be pleased to know that you can connect a pre-existing domain to the website builder. You’ll find the option to do this on the site settings page.
While you can connect an existing domain with Wix, this feature isn’t universal for website builders, so it’s worth investigating beforehand. Don’t get started with a website builder only to find out later there’s an additional fee for connecting an existing domain, or that it’s not possible at all.
3. Select a theme for your blog
We’re going to be using Squarespace as an example here, as it's our top choice for blogging. While it might not be exactly the same with every website builder, the experience isn’t that different.
Pick the Type of Site
You’ll be asked to choose what your website is going to be for – will it host an online store, are you going to run a blog, is it going to be for a restaurant or a business? There’s also an “other” option which will take you straight through to the template editor — more on that later. In your case, you'll want to make sure to pick a blogging template, so that your site looks consistent with your content.
You’ll then be presented with a filtered list based on the selection you’ve just made. Some of the categories are filtered even further – if you pick “Restaurants & Food”, for example, the templates are then filtered by what type of business: Catering & Chef, Cafe & Baker, Bar & Club, etc.
Once you’ve picked your template – and don’t worry, with Squarespace, they're all amazing – you can go straight into editing your site. Here's what a blog template from Squarespace looks like:
If you don’t fancy any of these templates, though, you can always pick a blank one – although it will be a bit more work.
If you're wondering why you haven’t even picked a name for your website yet, fear not, we’ll come to that later.
4. Create content for your blog
So now you’ve picked your template, we’re onto the actual website-development-y part of the process. The template will be pre-loaded with stock words and images which you can chop and change to your liking.
Want to see just how easy it can be? Click on the image below to see the Squarespace website editor in action!
Uploading an image is as easy as it is when uploading one to Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t have any to include, you’re typically loads of stock images to choose from as well.
Changing the text is, again, pretty straightforward – all you have to do is click on the bit of text you’d like to change, and you’ll be able to type straight into the text box. You can also adjust the size and style of each bit of text, but it’s worth remembering that each font will generally be consistent with the template, so making radical changes might make it look a bit odd.
Drag and Drop
Wix, like most other website builders uses a grid-based, drag-and-drop system for page editing. This means that it’ll be straightforward to keep each element on your page in line and when you want to add a new text box, image, or any other type of element, you’ll be able to see, at a glance, how to fit it onto your page.
You’re also able to change the pages on your site, whether they scroll straight into one another, and a host of other site-wide factors from the settings or pages menu, rather than with the grid-based editor. This can feel slightly confusing at first, but it works to keep the page-specific content separate from the overall site navigation and usability.
Extra Tools and Functions
You’ll also be able to add elements beyond text boxes and images with Wix and other website builders. These might include, for example, restaurant menus, contact forms or social media feeds.
Again, you’ll be able to drop these onto the page and line them up using the gridlines. You might find that some apps and functionality is reserved for paid-for plans but typically this is for ecommerce functions such as stock tracking and shipping costs.
Pros of making a blog website for free:
- Free website publishing is, of course, absolutely free
Cons of making a blog website for free:
- Your site will be hard to find
- You won't get a professional URL
- You'll have to put up with adverts (that don't make you money)
- Limited bandwidth will curb your success
- Your site will look unprofessional
The Pitfalls of using Free Website Builders to Build Your Blog
If you’re running a business, you might even lose customers due to the limitations of free website publishing. That small saving upfront could cost you in the long run.
Your site will be covered in adverts, and you won’t be able to get a custom domain name – leaving you with something generic and ugly. Here’s an example of the domain name you’ll get with a free website:
What about making a Facebook page?
Building a Facebook page for your business is definitely a good idea, particularly for bloggers looking to find new readers. Just make sure you keep it up to date and use it to engage with readers often.
However, you can't use a Facebook page in place of a blog. Sure, you could post blog-length posts on Facebook, but no one is going to consider that an actual blog page. Plus, using a Facebook page in place of a proper website will make you look a little amateurish and unprofessional. It also won’t give you access to features that are easy to implement on a website builder, like SEO functionality or user profiles.
Moreover, being restricted to a Facebook page means that you won’t be able to build your brand, and you’re less likely to appear at the top of Google rankings when someone searches for blogs like yours.
In so many words, there are no benefits in the long or short term to be had from trying to create a website for free. You’ll lack advanced features, look amateurish and users will have a hard time even finding your site or Facebook page.
Verdict: How to Start Blogging Today
Whether you're creating a blog to make money, showcase your life, develop a network, or anything in between, these steps — choose a blogging platform, pick a topic and name, select a theme or template, and create content — are a tried-and-true strategy for getting your blog live fast and efficiently.
If you want a little help, remember that website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are designed to make the process as simple as possible, providing you with all the tools you need to get started. Plus, you can always code a site yourself, but you'll still need a web hosting provider like BlueHost to get the site live.
If you're ready to get started, make sure to visit our top choices of web builder for blogs: you should be able to find a plan for just a few dollars a month, and which can help you get your blog live today!
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