What free blog do you recommend?
Steve: what blog do you recommend? I felt inspired by your story of only spending about $8 (for the cost of the domain name) to start your blog business. I would like to do the same and checking out free blogs. But I am hesitating because I am not sure which one has all the features I want to use such as:
- adding PayPal
- customers can download ebooks
--- and for later - the capacity for customers to upload files.
I want to start using a free blog and if the business takes off, I want to add more features such as the ones above.
I had a look at WordPress and that's OK, but I don't know whether it has all those functions - they don't in the basic free one, but I don't know about the upgrade ones.
There is also Lycos Tripod blogs - I think they're OK but something about the format I don't like that much, eg. the typing window is small.
Then there is Blogger (Google). I really don't like Google and want to avoid this one if I can.
Thanks for any advice or recommendations.
BTW, I have practically zero programming skills and I work from a Mac (a Powerbook laptop).
I am prepared to pay money later to upgrade the blog if I need more features.
But what I want is reassurance that most blog companies do provide those features I want because I don't want to invest time in building up a blog to find I have to switch blogs because of lack of functionality.
Wordpress can do all of the above.
You can probably get away with very little programming if you use plugins, but some will be needed eventually to incorporate payments.
You can put Adsense and other ad programs in via code or plugins.
Alternately you can find some tech inclined to help you out with it all and split the profits.
I'd say go with GeekLog or Joomla. Joomla is a little more intimidating, but better supported - GeekLog doesn't have as large a community, but is a really, really nice and extensible blog/CMS engine, and very secure. You shouldn't need to do much (if any) coding for either of those two.
Or, you could get Dani to build you a site and split the profits with him, or you could get me to build you a site for a larger (but one-off) fee, or... well, there are plenty of members on here who can help you out. :)
I'll put another vote for Wordpress. The reason is you will probably be moving to a Wordpress blog eventually anyway. If you put all that work in up front to build your blog, traffic and content, having to switch a year or two down the road hurts ALOT - ask me, I know. When I moved my blog from Typepad to Wordpress links broke, I temporarily lost visitors, everything was chaos.
Be careful in what framework you do choose. Try to make sure it will last through the long haul.
Thankfully, things have more than recovered since the move and I'm enjoying the Wordpress way of going about things.
Although these aren't free I have recently used both Typead and Squarespace blog systems and I can highly recommend them. The small fee is the same as you would pay for wordpress hosting anyway.
For the Paypal and delivery system I use Ejunkie - Sell Downloads, Online Shopping Cart which is free to try and only $5 per month for 10 digital products. (Yes that is an affiliate link and it will earn me a whopping $1 if you join!)
Make that Typepad, not Typead.
I have websites that use Wordpress and i have a site that uses Joombla. There is a difference between the two and the uses you should expect from them.
Great community. Lots of themes and plugins you can use most of which are free. If you are at all inclined, the programming behind it is not too bad.
It has a nice little interface where you log in, you can easy write a post or a page, click what category you want it to go into, and then press the publish button.
There are 100s of themes and plugins that make it that if you donít want to program, you donít have to. You might not be able to do everything you want if you not willing to pick up a css book, or a php book, or higher someone to do it for you.
There is lots of growing room in worpress and it can do all the stuff you have listed and more.
I will warn you that a plain, unaltered wordpress blog is blah looking. It works, but it does need to be prepped up. Here are some examples:
My blog has a custom theme that I made and it uses wordpress. It took me around 30 hours to do this.
Here is a new domain I just bought a couple days ago and have not even started working on yet. All I did was install the default word press stuff yesterday. So you see it is just blah, which is why I need to change it before I deploy it :)
Is more of a community building sw. I use this on a site where I expect other people besides me to be updating it. Many users can logon at once and update the site.
Many plugins and wigits that you can add on.
A good community to help you with issues.
When I first installed this, it took me about 40 hours to get it configured it. It still looks basically the same as it did when I first installed it. I did have to make code changes to the program to make it work right because of some known defects.
Sorry i cant give you an exmaple of a joombla page to look at, the one i run is for members of our fire department only so you can not view it
Now if what you are looking for is simplicity and elegance without too much hassle and you want most of the work done for you, go with wordpress. If you want a community site where other people can post their own articles and such, then you will want to look more into Joombla.
If you have any specific questions about the two, post them so we know what we are answering. Which one is better is too generic.
Aye definitely too generic a qestion. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Also keep in mind that you WILL need more than $8
You will also need to get someone to host your site after you have a domain name. Which will cost aroooound $5 and up a month depending on the company and features.
This board has pretty much everything/everyone you need :D
CavemanJoe has a neat and cheap hosting service, which I will be using myself in the future. (I need to pm you CJ! Sorry it's late) or as he pointed out I can host, design and build one, and also train you how to use it for free up front, but with a profit split down the track. (needs to be a workable idea though)
I have a couple of links on my site that will be useful for you regardless of your intentions.
A basic Wordpress overview.
A basic Joomla overview.
3 examples each of Joomla and Wordpress sites. Click the big image at the top and you will see them all live in a smaller window and you can just click next to see the next one.
I actually prefer Joomla to Wordpress these days, even for a simple blog. You can get some nice blog software for Joomla that makes it look like a wordpress blog, but it is just so much easier to manage anything complicated. I can set up a Joomla site these days in about the same amount of time it takes most people to install wordpress.
If you are making a business out of your blog, I reccomend Joomla. You wont ever have to switch if your site becomes more powerful or complicated.
I definitely agree that if you plan on really going pushing wordpress, a cms system can be better.
However, someone who wants to do little programming or messing around with it, wordpress is much easier especially if you have a host who has it as a one click install thing. I have seen end users baffled by Joombla's back end interface, and that interface is not even confusing. My entire fire department, wont touch it. I tried to show them how they can add a user, and they all freaked out. If someone had programming experience and wanted to spend a lot of time getting it perfect, I would say Joombla might be a good idea.
I love Joombla; I was just not too happy when I spent 40 hours one weekend getting it ready for launch. It really is a good product and I will use it on site in the future when I know the growth potential is there.
And it's about to get better... 1.5 is out soon. :eek: :D :eek:
The beauty of my business model Adrienne is that the client doesn't need to do anything back end except post articles, and even that can be done front end with the right components.
I and my team take care of all the back end, technical stuff for the client, leaving them free to just post. :)
I know!! i cant wait. I hope those defects with the editor are fixed. You know the ones that make doc man impossible to use so you have to change your text box options. :eek:
I am going to wait a while to upgrade tho, i have hours of custom changes to it to make it work the way they need, and if course they are all going to get blown out with the way i did it. :(
yeah that is what i do to. I set up everything and they cant even figure out how to post. Seriously. I have a couple people who can post, and everyone else, they just upload documents.
That is smart. Keep people out of the back end where they can mess stuff up :)
I am also not sure which of my sites to upgrade yet.
Might have to set up a sandbox installation and back each one up and install it into the sandbox and test if it works once it's upgraded.
It's the big decision with a major version upgrade! To stay or change. :eek:
I know what you mean. I am going to wait at least a couple months so if they have to release emergency patches, I am not scrambling to redo things I have just done.
To stay or to change??? Isnít that always the question :D
I think my biggest problem with Joomla! is how complicated it makes everything. I've created a couple of sites in Joomla! and started making another one last night; it didn't really warrant the complications and hassles of Joomla!, so I'm knocking something together with other components.
And the more I wrestled with Joomla!, the more I reminded myself how much I disliked it, and why I hardly ever use it. I don't like how insecure it is by default, I don't like how it tries to make things easier for me (and for the site admin) and ends up making things five times more complicated, I don't like the lack of attention paid to search engine optimisation and I don't like the templating engine. Grah, rant rant rant. :D
Most specifically, what got me onto my little rant was trying to alter the side menus. In GeekLog, I would log in as an Admin, go to the Block menu, select the block I wanted to edit, edit the block and press Save. In Joomla!, I log in to the admin interface, go to "Menu," then "Main Menu," and can I edit it? Can I hell. Instead, Joomla! says "No, just tell me what you want and I'll write the code for you!" Which would be lovely, except that for each and every entry I want to add to the menu, I have to go through three menu screens of needless complexity, and then re-order the menu to put the new entry in the right place. Grr.
It seems like it's just going to extraordinary lengths to prevent me from ever having to write a single HTML tag - but the hoops it makes me jump through in the name of simplicity are far more complex, bewildering and unnecessary than writing the code in the first place.
Oh, and with GeekLog sites, potential new users can log in via their LiveJournal or Blogger.com account. :D I know I've trumpeted that feature a lot, but it really does help get your numbers up.
Do you have any example sites made with Geeklog I can look at? My community website is now done in Wordpress - but I have been contemplating switching it to Joomla or Geeklog. I have gotten frustrated with both of them as I am not a CSS coder. wordpress was simply finding the right template and making a few changes. I love the calendar feature of GL - but need something more than their standard template.
Forest Grove Live
With all this raving about Geeklog, i am going to have to check it out!
I know what you mean about Joombla making things more complicated, which is one of the reasons why i made so many program changes back end. i know i know.. bad programmer. :D
That is one of the reasons why i do like wordpress. It is very simple for people to use even lay people who are scared of there computers.
Indy107 - well, just about all of my own personal websites run on GeekLog:
CavemanJoe.co.uk - A complete waste of hosting
The Twisted Librarian - Book crits, opinions and places to buy
Project Wonderful Talk - The Unofficial Project Wonderful Blog and Forums
JAMMA Forever - Open-Source, Homebrew Arcade Cabinet Games
Culture Shock - Webcomic and Hyperfiction
Let me know if you want a custom theme building. There's also my brand spanking new portfolio site at Professional, classy website design in Cheshire : Stainless Design. :)
Thanks for your valuable input, guys. You've helped me move forward in starting my blog.
I use WordPress. There's a link to my site in my signature. It took me about a week to get that set up properly, but I had a lot of customization to do.
My Host has one-click WP installation, so that was easy. I also like all the free themes and plug-ins for WP.
But as with any third-party code, I have learned to thoroughly function test my site after installing a new plug-in. Most of them are great, but a few of them have caused problems for me.
Also, be aware that certain themes may have compatibility issues with certain plug-ins, and certain plug-ins may have compatibility issues with each other. This is common sense, but worth mentioning for a new guy. Most of my experiences with plug-ins have been fantastic.
Good luck with your blog!
Ahhh the .old files are kept at the root. That site is not up yet. I wanted to get it up a while ago, but life interefered a bit. I will get back to it. What happens is every time i upgrade it, the old site gets put to a backup. I just need to delete the backups, but because the site is not live (i had put it up just to display here, i knew it was going to take me a while to get to since i was working on Adventurous Philosopher ) i have not bothered to clean up the backups.
What about Joombla? I use it on a fire/ems website i run, so i really cant just bring it down whenever i feel like it for upgrades. The new version is out, but i hesitate to load the new one in case it gives me trouble that i just dont have time to deal with right now.
hope that answers your qs
I'm a programmer so I wrote my own blogging software to start. Kind of just for fun to see if I can do it. Later I switched to Wordpress because I got tired of spending my time working ON my site, rather than writing articles. There seemed to always be something to add onto the site as the industry changes day to day. The beauty of WordPress is that there are others out there already writing plugins and updates for you.
I would strongly suggest Wordpress. There's very little you can't do with it from what I've seen.
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