It may seem odd that I am using Blogger to talk about WordPress, but all of us at B.You thought it would be a great idea to diversify the content of this site and provide information to you both for Blogger and WordPress. It seems foreign for me to be typing a post in Blogger because all I know is WordPress. I can't say that I have a preference for one or the other because I am not familiar with each of them on the same level, so I will stick to what I know and tell you a little bit about WordPress. I started my blog on WordPress.com back in February. There are two different ways to start a blog through the WordPress publishing application. One way is through their dot com site. This is the approach I took when I started. There are many benefits to this approach. First of all, it is free ninety-free. Who doesn't like free stuff?! Secondly, it gives you the option to publicize your posts on multiple different social media sites (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). And, my favorite part is that you can track your stats within the application through the built in "site stats" page.
The other approach to starting a site with WordPress is for more advanced users (in my opinion). It involves downloading the software and signing up for website hosting. This is done through a web hosting service. There are many hosting companies out there. Do your research before you sign up with one. Web site hosting will usually run you between $4 and $8 per month, and many companies offer free trials. If you choose this route, you have more options for customizing your website. It is more work for sure, but the benefit is that you have full control of your content, your design, and your space on the internet. The WordPress platform is the industry standard and is used by many businesses and bloggers. With this option, you will be able to advertise on your blog, whereas you do not have that capability through the dot com option.
I want to touch on design for a second. Both options allow you to choose a pre-designed template for your site; however, with the dot com option, you can only customize a few things within the template, so what you see is pretty much what you get. However, with the self-hosted option, you have the ability to edit the coding of the template to change way more stuff. This is part of the process that will take more advanced knowledge to navigate through or you can hire a web designer to create your site if you don't have the desire and/or time to design it yourself.
So, in the end, the best thing to do before starting a blog with WordPress is to decide what you want to accomplish with your blog and how much time you want to put into it. If you just want a place to share your thoughts with others and do not have much time to dedicate or money to put into it, the dot com option may be best for you. If you want to have a place that feels more like your own and you don't mind spending hours of your time creating your space to be exactly how you want it (or hiring a designer), then you might want to check out the self-hosting option.
I know this is a lot of information and it may be a bit confusing at first, but if you are really interested in starting your own blog, I urge you to do your research and find out which option best suits your needs. I started with the more basic dot com option. I love it, and it was great for me for a while, but I found that I wanted something that felt more like my own, something that I could call mine and mold into my happy place. So right now I am in the process of transitioning to a self-hosted site using the WordPress software. It has taken me countless hours to design the site because I have had to learn so much along the way. It will take me many more hours to finish it, but it will be mine and it will be worth it to me.