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OK, so how do I start blogging?

OK, so you’ve read my previous post about why you should start blogging today, and you want to give it a spin. What’s next?

Let me give you a very quick getting-started guide from my angle, along with a few tips for those of you not afraid to get their hands dirty.


You have two options – buy your own top-level domain (e.g., or use a “subdomain”, under some company (e.g. or I highly recommend going with the former option and buying your own domain from the start.

Even if you’re just experimenting with blogging, and not sure it will stick, the cost for using a custom TLD from the start is so small ($5-$11) that it’s not worth the trouble. The big win about using your own domain is that you own 100% of the content down to the URL structure, and you can start building good, long term SEO for your site (essentially, start accumulating good page rank in Google). If you start your blog on a on someone else’s domain, and two years afterward you want to switch to another provider, your links will have to change (e.g. to, and this might affect your Google ranking. There are workarounds for this, but it’s better to just do it right from the start.


There are a lot of blogging platforms out there, but IMO there is one clear winner, popularity wise, which is wordpress (5 million wordpress sites, much more than the alternatives). WordPress has gotten to be real easy to use in the last few years, with one click updates, improvement on its editing and plugin mechanisms, and just overall richness of the ecosystem.

WordPress is open source, so even if you don’t know PHP, there are a lot of coders out there hacking away, fixing bugs, submitting new features (mostly in the form of plugins), and you can rest assured that whatever feature you need from your blog in the future, someone will add it sooner or later.

I migrated my blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress blog about four years ago, and never looked back.

Self-hosted vs “Hosted”

I recommend you start with opening a Hosted solution on, and register your own domain. This will cost you around $20 a year total, and you get all the advantages of a custom domain. You will not have the full customization/plugins options of a self-hosted blog, but when you start out, you won’t need it … there are plenty of customization options given free, out of the box (check under Appearances–>Widgets).

Sooner or later you might discover that you need your blog to do something that is not supported in the Hosted option, like automatically push your posts to Facebook/Twitter, connect your blog to Google Analytics to see powerful data about your visitors, post code snippets in Java, or have automatic backups of your blog sent to your email. For these, you’ll have to migrate off the comfort zone of, and into a more professional hosting. This might cost a bit more (you can get decent hosts from $5-$10 a month), and won’t be covered in depth in this post.

If you’re willing to pay extra for the comfort, you can get the best of both worlds – a fully customizable blog, with almost zero maintainence and setup time. Check out WPEngine … they’re rather expensive (starts at $30 a month, not including the domain name), but at least they have a 60 day free trial period.

Ask Questions!

If you have any question about WordPress blogging, go to and fire away, there’s a community of professional bloggers ready to assist you.


  1. ripper234:

    @Ken – not exactly appropriate for the target audience of this post 🙂

  2. Aviel Lazar:

    I’m using (thank to Oren), they are like WPEngine but cheaper. So far it’s good.