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Tips for Choosing a Blog Platform and Domain Name

By January 17, 2018 No Comments

There are numerous things to consider when setting up your blog. The platform and domain name are two of the most important factors. Fortunately, these thoughtful tips can help you navigate those processes and prevent feeling overwhelmed.

Consider Your Blogging Budget

While researching the various blog platforms and their pros and cons, you’ll find that some are free and others can become quite costly depending on your needs. Because of that reality, you’ll need to set an amount you can afford for a blog platform — and don’t forget potential expenses associated with a hosting provider.

WordPress.com is one of the most widely used free possibilities, and it offers numerous handy advantages to help you build a beautiful blog. There are many other complimentary choices, too.

When you’re aware of how much you can spend, it’ll be easier to narrow down choices. Once your income from blogging increases, you could potentially switch to a platform that costs more money and offers a greater amount of features than some free options.

Go with a .Com Domain

As the internet has become larger, the amount of domain extensions has increased, too. In addition to a blog address that ends in .com, you can also pick the extensions .tv, .pro and .info, among many others.

If someone already has your preferred domain ending in .com, you may explore other options and wonder if they’re right for you. However, there are many compelling reasons to get a .com extension.

The .com ending of websites is already so cemented in most people’s minds that they enter it without even thinking about it. Plus, most smartphone keypads have .com buttons. A .com domain is usually the hardest to forget, as well.

Consider Your Site-Building Expertise

Tumblr and Squarespace are among the top blogging platforms, but those and other options are not the same. They have advantages and disadvantages related to aspects like templates and ease of editing, but you can read why bloggers selected certain providers over others.

If some of your friends or colleagues also have blogs, it’s worth asking them your platform-related questions and finding out whether they’re happy with their current companies. Are there usability issues that make blogging unnecessarily difficult or frustrating?

Besides getting that information, think about your weak points associated with setting up a blog, plus what you want to accomplish. Are you eager to have blog posts that look great without requiring web design skills? If so, focus on platforms that have visually appealing templates you can choose, then go straight into composing your content.

However, if you want the option of making several customizations, check out platforms that allow for them and don’t restrict you to templates. If you plan to make those edits on mobile devices, look for blog platforms with corresponding mobile devices featuring editing capabilities. Once you’re aware of shortcomings related to building and maintaining a blog, it’ll be easier to find a platform that helps you compensate for them.

Select a Sensible and Short Domain Name

It’s also smart to use a domain that relates to your blog and isn’t too long. Ideally, your domain should immediately tell users what to expect when visiting your site. If you write a beauty blog, and the domain doesn’t include the word “beauty” or its synonyms, it may not be the best choice.

By keeping the domain short, you may find it’s easier for people to remember. Plus, the longer it gets, the more likely it is visitors could mistype the address if they haven’t bookmarked the site. Those who visit on their mobile phones are also typing on small keyboards or may use voice recognition technology, so a short domain name helps them avoid errors.

Evaluate Hosted Versus Self-Hosted Platforms

You also must make a big decision regarding whether to use a third-party hosted platform or a self-hosted option. Generally, an outside provider limits your freedom of choice, but it offers some of the built-in customization options we’ve discussed here — plus it reduces the setup necessities you have to do on your own.

With a self-hosted platform, the blog resides on your hosting account. You can then use content management systems to make updates. Plug-ins and similar accessories can maximize your potential when making updates. There are also one-click, auto-install solutions that streamline the process of getting everything ready to go when connecting your blog to its hosting provider.

Don’t Forget About Keywords in Your Domain

You may wonder whether your domain should include keywords. Information from Google indicates keywords in domains only make a small impact on search engine rankings for a website.

However, a study performed by HigherVisibility.com examined the top-ranking websites and found two-thirds of them had keywords in their domain names. The researchers found the inclusion of keyword usage in the URLs varied by industry, though. The debt sector was the most likely to have them, while websites associated with email software were the least likely.

With those things in mind, think about whether keywords could help people find your blog with the fewest hassles. Additionally, keyword usage could help your domain name have a better flow or make people remember it. SEO ranking is an essential factor to be aware of as a blogger, but it should not determine all your decisions.

Due to these tips, you should find it easier than expected to reach educated conclusions about your blogging platform and domain. By performing supplementary research based on the suggestions above, you can feel more confident about these crucial elements of getting started as a blogger or setting up a new blog to complement one you already handle.

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