How to Start Your Own Personal Blog

A basic guide to getting your own domain name and choosing a tool to host your blog and write your articles.

Domain

Unless you're willing to settle with a sub-domain or a username/sub-folder URL, you'd need your own domain name. For me, I use Hover and had been using this company for many years. I've had no trouble with them.

Blogging Platforms

You'll need to choose a blogging platform to host (and write) your blog articles. There are many free services available, but they have limited features, do not support your own domain name, and sometimes even display ads on your blog pages. So I therefore recommend everyone to consider paying for quality.

Cloud-based Blogging Services

for Non-Professional Designers

The services mentioned here are generally for the majority of consumers who need to set up a new blog very quickly and easily. They come with ready-to-use themes, both free and premium versions. While these themes can offer you a quick start very efficiently, customization to your desired look may be a huge and very time-consuming task.

Ghost is a blogging platform that I would actually recommend to anyone considering starting a blog. The primary reason is designed for distraction-free writing and it uses Markdown , a lightweight language to format your text and manage inserted contents like images and so on. The downside of Ghost is it is relatively expensive compare to the other options.

Wix, WeeblySquarespace, Wordpress.com, Blogger by Google and TypePad are all worthy of mention here. Do check out the features and compare the pricing for what you can get. Tumblr.com is more like a social network within itself and is worthy of your attention for consideration.

for Professional Designers

If are a professional web designer and want absolute control over the look and feel of your blog and article pages - even to the point of creating animations - then WebFlow and Webydo wins hands-down. These platforms enters a new arena of web hosting services by providing in-webbrowser code-free design of web pages (yes, even responsive - from mobile to desktop version) just like great designers do, and including content hosting. These services could well be the future of web design, blogging, content management and hosting - all-in-one, as they are filling a market space completely left out by Adobe and the industry. That said, they are very expensive - be forewarned!

Using Static-Site Generators

My site (this site) is implemented using a static-site generation software called JBake. JBake is a tool only developers could use. While it is impossible for non-programmers to set up a blog using it, the primary advantages are speed and the possibility of full customization of any features by coding (such as control of categories and tagging, etc.). All generated blog pages are static html files. All it needs is a web server (e.g. nginx) to pick up the file from the file system and return it to the client. There is no need to process any middleware code or access a database. Performance is king!