Okay, so you’ve made the decision to set the world on fire with your new food blog. One of your first important decisions (after choosing a hosting company, in most cases) will be to choose which blogging software, or platform, you are going to get set up on. While there are many options for self-publishing a blog on the Internet, in my mind there are only three major options: WordPress (either hosted or self-hosted), Typepad, and Blogger. Let’s take a look at each of these options, and consider their pros and cons
If you want to start your new food blog with as much potential for forward-compatibility as possible (that is, to make sure that your blog will be able to continue growing and changing, without the need for a major technology overhaul), there’s really only one choice: WordPress. There’s a reason WordPress is the most popular blogging software in the world, with more than 55 million WordPress-powered websites currently on the web. What began as just another method for publishing an online journal has evolved into one of the best content management systems available, with people making whole careers out of developing new features, providing support, and extending the software’s core features to make it possible to build almost any kind of website you can think of. Food blogs are just the beginning. WordPress can be used to power Yahoo Answers-style websites, online classified ad boards, real estate websites, online portfolios, and much more. WordPress does it all, using an easy-to-use interface that makes administering your new site easy. The software can be customized into infinity, and you’ll never be limited by the software when it comes to adding custom functions to your site.
There are two main options for getting WordPress up and running on your site. You can choose the hosted version of WordPress, or you can download it for use on your own site, with your own hosting and domain name. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry: it’s not. Installing WordPress yourself on your own server is only a little trickier than using the hosted version (the software prides itself on how few clicks it takes to get installed), and offers the maximum opportunity for customization as your site’s needs begin to change. The investment in learning to get the software running on your own server is worth it; with more of the web continuing to be powered by WordPress, learning the basics now is vital to your continued ability to publish online. Having an understand of WordPress means that as the needs of your site change, you will never be left behind. Almost without exception, I believe that the self-hosted version of WordPress is the best possible choice for anyone starting a new food blog.