I know some of you guys are keen about blogging but unwilling to spend extra on web hosting and domain. The good news is there are tons of great blogging platform around and they are absolutely free. One of the top rated blog platform is of course Blogger.com manged by Google. For the next few weeks (or months), I’m glad to have experienced blogger E-Quan on board to share his experience and knowledge in operating a Blogger blog. I’m sure his tutorials bring great joy and valuable information, so stay tuned and have fun learning!
Blogger: Introduction & Getting Started
So you’ve decided to start a blog, great! I bet you have plenty of thoughts, ideas, or even wonderful photos to share with close ones and the world. What better way of doing that than writing them down, publishing them easily, and at the end, archiving them systematically using Blogger (www.blogger.com)?
A little history about Blogger
Blogger is one of the earliest blog publishing systems and was created by the nice people over at a small company called Pyra Labs in San Francisco back in August 1999. To make the great story short, Google eventually saw the potential that was hidden in this blog publishing tool together with its many great features that it formally acquired Pyra Labs in February 2003. Blogger has now emerged as one of the most successful blog hosting providers offering many wonderful features with a user-friendly interface — for FREE!
Blogger when it was first launched
The basics of Blogger (and some example)
Basically, your blog will be hosted by Google at subdomains of blogspot.com.
What this means is that you could choose a unique name that is meaningful to you and your readers and publish your posts at that address (provided that the name is not taken up already!). Like this author, he also uses Blogger service and his blog is available at confirmcekap.blogspot.com. Many people use their own name/nickname as the URL and one famous blogger whose blog is being hosted on blogspot that I can think of right away is XiaXue (xiaxue.blogspot.com).
Pros and cons of Blogger
Besides Blogger, there are actually many blog hosting providers out there in the wild: WordPress, Livejournal, Windows Live Spaces, to name a few. Before registering at Blogger.com, you might want to know the pros and cons from my own personal experience:
- Fast and simple registration/setup. Even more so if you already have a Google account (Gmail for example).
- User-friendly interface (referred to as the Dashboard) — easy to navigate between Editing, Settings, and Layout. Even a drag-and-drop feature to arrange your blog’s layout!
- Labels option for your posts — meaning that you could categorize each post for example: travel, food, rants, etc.
- Easy to add photos/videos to your posts.
- Comments system is also available for you to gather feedback from your readers.
- You don’t own nor can you control the site because it is free and being hosted by Google. Your blog can be blocked/deleted by Blogger if they judge your content being in violation of its Terms of Service.
- Multiple pages are not supported by Blogger currently. Your Blogger blog is not like a website where every page created has a new link/URL. You create posts instead. In short, it is not possible to create yourblog.blogspot.com/location where this page will contain your address with a nice hand-drawn map.
- The basic layout templates offered when you first register are pretty dull and if you’d like a more sophisticated layout, some research is definitely required.
Should you go with Blogger?
All in all, I still recommend that you try and start your blog at Blogger because as you can see above, the advantages are still quite significant. Click the Blogger’s logo below to start your blogging journey right away!
p/s: In the next session, we’ll be discussing about setting up your first Blogger blog and configuring it to fit your requirements.
About the author
E-quan graduated from Technological University of Malaysia as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer.
He is now attached with an MNC specializing in power and automation technologies. In his blog (confirmcekap.blogspot.com), he describes himself as a full-time procrastinator although in reality, he is “not”. He likes 80’s music especially Cantonese pop songs. He plays the Electone and wishes to own a grand piano (amongst the many things he would like to own) soon.