A Brief History.
Blogging evolved in the late Nineteen Nineties, the early days of the Internet, when diarists kept ‘weblogs’ of their personal lives and published them on the internet. The term ‘blog’ was coined by Peter Merholz who broke the word ‘weblog’ into ‘we blog’ in the sidebar of his own blog Peterme.com.
Blogging became popular with the advent of blog publishing tools such as ‘WordPress‘ to facilitate non-technical users to enable them to have their own self-hosted blogs, without requiring too much knowledge of HTML code and computer programming.
The modern blog is an informational or discussion website that is published to the Internet consisting of posts displayed in reverse chronological order, i.e; the newest post will display first, usually at the top of the website. It typically shows diary-style entries, photos and or videos, published by the owner of the blog.
Types of Blogs.
There are two different types of blogs;
- A blog that is hosted on a blog publishing service such as Blogger, and would be free.
- A self-hosted blog, one that requires the purchase of a hosting account and a domain name and has content management software (CMS) installed to manage your blog content.
Blog Publishing Service.
To have a blog on a blog publishing service, you would simply sign up with a Blog publishing service such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com, create a user account, add your blog name, which would be a subdomain of the service that you have signed up to; for example, if you were to sign with Blogger.com your domain name would be something like http://yourblogname.blogspot.com. This would be the address of your blog.
You would also be limited as to what you could publish and control on your blog, such as the display of adverts, and should your service stop for any reason, you could lose all of your content that may have taken you years to create.
Self Hosted Blog.
A self-hosted Blog, on the other hand, is what it says it is, a blog that you host yourself, and requires the purchase of a Domain name and a Hosting account. A domain name is the actual physical address of your website so that it can be found when someone types the domain name into their web browser bar, and a hosting account basically gives you access to your folders and files that make up your website and are stored on a remote computer known as the server.
The server is on all of the time, so your website will be available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. The website is managed by Content Management Software (CMS) such as at WordPress.org and you will have full control over your content on your published site.
You will also need to purchase your own domain name, you can have any name that you like, as long as it is not already taken, and it would be something like, https://yourchosenname.com, it looks much neater than the domain name that you get with a blogging service, would be search engine friendly and easier to remember, you need to register this at a domain registrar, but it will be yours to keep for a small fee each year.
A self-hosted blog has many advantages over a blog publishing service, such as the ability to make complete backups or copies of your website, should anything go wrong with your hosting service, you would then be able to set up with another host service. If you needed a better server because your current one is unable to cope with the traffic that is visiting your blog, you can move servers with little or no downtime.
With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you are able to control how your blog looks as there are many thousands of themes available, free or premium, and many thousands of free and premium plugins available that that can increase the functionality of your blog.
As you may be able to tell, I favour this type of blog, and on the next page, I am going to explain how you can set up your own self-hosted WordPress blog, for only a few pounds.