Many individuals have been considering creating a blog to grow their business or to entertain their audience. With the ever-growing world of blogging, many companies have decided to get into the game. However, when it comes to choosing a web host, many businesses have run into problems because they do not want to commit to a particular platform. With the power of WordPress behind it, many companies have decided they would rather go for a free option and develop their website on that platform. That is why we have compiled a list of the best free services for budding bloggers so they can take advantage of the fantastic features these platforms offer.
When you opt for free web hosting, you are essentially giving away the services of a professional web developer who will build you a custom-made website. With that being said, you will need to provide the developer with the following details:
- A functional and stunningly beautiful name for your site
- An identity for your site (e.g., a catchy URL)
- A slogan or brief description of your site’s purpose
- The legal contact information for your site (e.g., a corporation, registered business name, registered agent)
- A physical address (for legal purposes)
- Content for your site (e.g., a blog post)
- Images for your site (i.e., photos, icons, and banners)
- A functioning e-commerce store (with optional subscription pricing)
- A social media account for your site (e.g., a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account)
- And, optionally, a YouTube account (with content targeting to the proper metadata)
Some of these details can be found in the about section of your existing site, while others can be inputted manually. Remember, a functional e-commerce store is one of the things you will need to provide if you decide to go that route. However, you can always use one of the many integrated e-commerce stores that are also part of the WordPress platform.
Once you have your web hosting set up, you will need to register your domain name. For the purpose of this article, we will assume you have chosen the.com domain extension for your site. If you go the route of a free domain, you will need to provide the following info:
- Your name (required)
- Your email (required)
- A description of what your site is for (e.g., “My Business Blog”)
- The URL you want to use for your site (e.g., mybusinessblog.com)
- A logo for your site (optional)
- A favicon (small icon) for your site (optional)
- And, optionally, a slogan or brief description for your site (e.g., “Professional Development for Dummies”)
As we mentioned above, you will need to provide all this info manually or through the “about” section of your WordPress dashboard. However, if you have chosen a premium domain name, you will also need to register that domain name with Google.
After you have your website up and running, you will need to choose an email service provider. Fortunately, this is another area where you can use a free service. The providers behind these services are aware that many businesses launch blogs as a way to keep in touch with their customers and prospects. With that in mind, these companies have created a service specifically for businesses.
The good news is that you can use a reliable email service provider that is also a free service. In fact, you can use the same service that you use to host your website. The important thing to keep in mind is that you should consider selecting a service that can grow with you. That is, you want to find a provider that has a good reputation and is reliable.
Finally, you will need to take care of your website’s security and privacy. These are critical elements to consider if you want people to visit and interact with your site. Fortunately, there are also services that you can use to protect your site. But you will need to pick your poison. That is, you will need to choose a content delivery network (CDN) and a security service.
The next step is to choose a security service. A security service is a tool that you can use to protect your site by obfuscating or securing sensitive information (e.g., your full name, email address, billing information, etc.). A good security service will employ salt and pepper attacks which scramble the data before it is encrypted. That is, it will add a bit of randomness (i.e., salt) to your data and scramble it (i.e., pepper it) before it is stored or sent. This makes it more difficult for someone to access your information. Of course, you do not need to use a security service to launch a successful blog. But, if you decide to use cryptography (e.g., a PGP key) for both email and file sharing, then you will need to consider the security of that information.
In summary, if you want to run a successful blog, you will need to consider all these details. Fortunately, there are services that can help you with all of this. But you will need to decide which service is best for you and your business.