What is a blog?

What is a blogA blog is a page on a website that displays blog posts. A blog post shows information written by you - the website owner and displayed in chronological order on the page, latest first, usually with dates visible. It can be text and images, and videos. A blog post is the individual entry, like a diary or journal entry and the blog page the equivalent of the diary.  

A blog can be part of a website as with this one, or it can be the main guts of your website. Having a blog as your website is great for food blogs and traveling or even personal websites for people who don’t want to use social media but do still want to take advantage with keeping in touch with family and friends worldwide.

How can you create a blog?

There are many platforms you can use like Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace and WordPress.com. These are easy and convenient to set up but may mean you have less control over a self hosted solution such as WordPress.org. Having a self hosted WordPress blog means you can be in control and own your content online, that includes images, text and code, you can also post to social media from your WordPress website.

Setting a WordPress site up is a pretty simple undertaking, although a bit more technical than a Wix website, once your blog is up it will respond better on the Google listings than most other blogging platforms which is a must if you're monetising your blog.

See our blog post on Website builders and Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for more information on which route to chose.

To start with you will need to set up website hosting, and if you’re a UK citizen reading this then we recommend you use a UK based hosting company such as 20i, Heart Internet, 123Reg or Evohosting are just a few examples, other companies may be good on price but if they’re not subject to UK laws and data protection you could lose control of your content, so go with someone reputable.

Website hosting is a little outside of the scope of this article so here’s one we wrote earlier which should help: Beginners guide to website hosting. Or you can get us to set up your website hosting and you can get blogging!

Should you allow comments?

This can be a total nightmare if you don’t take measures to prevent spam. With WordPress for example you can allow comments, but if you don’t have a plugin to prevent it, or even just keep it to a minimum, you will find yourself constantly monitoring and blocking comments trying to sell you things (usually wholly inappropriate) or just plain gobbledegook. Sharing to social media can be a way round this if you want to gauge opinion or promote your blog whilst keeping comments turned off.

Website security and self hosted WordPress solutions

There have been successful hacking attempts in the past where security wasn’t kept up to date and a comment form on a self hosted WordPress website was used to gain access to the backend, the hacker made themselves the admin and  had access to write inappropriate content or delete posts and pages. This hack was called ZeroDay. And whilst we highly recommend self hosted WordPress websites there is a risk that this can happen if you don’t keep your website’s security up to date.
This is a service we provide so if you would like to know more about our WordPress websites please visit our Website Design page

What can I blog about?

For companies who already have a website having a blog page is a great way to have an easily updatable section. Being able to add fresh content to a website not only builds human interest and authority in your field but also Google listings. Google likes websites that are updated regularly as it wants to list companies which are still in business. Imagine searching Google for that specific service you’re after only to find that perfect sounding company website is no longer in existence. So it’s in Google’s interest to list websites with fresh relevant content. Yes Google knows if it’s got nothing to do with your business, so don’t go adding anything just to try and get on Google, it will put your customers off to.

If you’re an individual and want to keep a food blog with recipes for example, remember images sell food really well, so think about the way it looks and keep it simple. You can just blog about you and your family to keep people that are not on social media abreast of what you’re up to, travel photos, funny shaped vegetables you’ve grown, who knows your blog post may go viral

We hope you found this article useful, if there’s anything you would like us to cover, or you are interested in hosting your website with us, please visit our contact page, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook