Blogging software has become so sophisticated that most people no longer need complicated and expensive website creation and management tools to build and maintain a Web presence. In less than 30 minutes, you can register your own domain name, install the blogging software (also called a blogging platform), make a few tweaks to the design, and start posting content to the Web. You can then spend as much or as little time as you want customizing your blog.
I’ve created several websites and blogs, including JoeKraynak.com, FinkShrink.com, FinkShrink.com/blog, Slampapi.com/blog, and DrRobertWood.com. In the process, I settled on what I believe is the perfect collection of tools for the average Joe or Joanne to build and maintain a Web presence:
- Bluehost – to host my sites (and provide me with my own personal email address)
- WordPress – the blogging platform I use to post content to my site
- Thesis – a WordPress theme that controls the overall layout and appearance of my site (you can choose from over 4 million free themes, but I paid $87 for Thesis, because I couldn’t find anything else that was quite as flexible and powerful)
- Thesis OpenHook – a free WordPress plugin that makes it easier to configure Thesis
- A collection of additional free WordPress plugins to do everything from reducing comment spam to making my site more attractive to search engines like Google
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting about each of these tools and showing how to use them to set up a blog that looks and functions like a combination blog and website.