What is a Blog?
A blog also called a weblog is a type of web site that consists of a series of entries or blog posts categorized by date (typically months and years) and/or subject. You need little or no prior knowledge of web technologies such as HTML or web programming in order to create and main a blog. In fact, it's this very ease that has made blogs one of the most popular types of web sites. And I believe that if you can use an online email service such as Hotmail or Gmail, you can create a blog and it quite well.
How can you create a blog?
There are two ways to go about this. The first option is to use a free blog service through which you would be able to create your blog in a few minutes. The second option is to download and install blog software on your existing web site. In either case, you maintain and update your blog by adding new entries through the blog software.
Free blog services
There are tons of online services that allow you to make a free blog. All these require you to create an account, specify your login details (username and password), provide a name to your blog and select a design template. Once your blog is created you are ready to start posting entries. Depending on your blogging software, the entries will be categories by date and / or subject. Each blog entry becomes an individual "web page" of the blog web site.
Though there are several free blog services and here are some of the most popular ones:
- Blogger: owned by Google. If you have a Google account, you can use the same on Blogger.
- MSN Spaces or Windows Live Spaces: from IT giant Microsoft
- Yahoo! Pulse: is Yahoo!'s foray into the free blog service space.
- BraveJournal: from Bravenet.com which is perhaps the easiest and most customizable blog service.
As mentioned above, a blog is simply a type of web site and so it will have a unique address (a web site address, if you like). For instance, the address of your Blogger blog will be your-blog-name.blogspot.com and the one from Bravenet will be your-blog-name.braveblog.com. This is like getting a free domain name with your free blog web site!
Adding a blog to your web site
One can quickly add a blog to an existing web site by downloading and installing blog software on the web site server space. In fact, your web hosting company would have already provided you with such software that can be installed in less than a minute (no need of manually downloading and installation) - please contact your hosting provider for details. A blog can become a new section on an existing web site or you can convert a web site to a blog - the choice is yours.
The most popular blogging software is WordPress which is 100% free. You can find all the help you want in getting started and maintaining your WordPress blog in hundreds of online support groups and communities. There are also thousands of free design templates to choose from.
Why are blogs so popular?
The main reason for the popularity of blogs is the ease with which they can be created and maintained. A typical web site consists of individual web pages developed using HTML (HyperText Markup Language). FYI, web pages may also have code of other programming languages such as PHP, ASP or Perl embedded in the HTML. However, as far as blogs are concerned, you don't need to know HTML or any other web programming language. A good blogging software such as WordPress or Blogger will keep you far away from the underlying technology.
If you use an online email service such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! Mail to compose and send email messages, you will find yourself pretty much at home with the online blogging tool. In order to create a blog on, say, Blogger you need to signup for an account just as you had done for your email service. And updating your blog by posting new entries is quite like composing emails in your email service.
Comments, questions, feedback... whatever!
Page contents: Definition of a blog with a brief on how you can create one. Also a note on how to add a blog to an existing web site?
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