With so many blogging software options available today, it can be a difficult task to decide which blogging software you should use. Each blogging software solution will have its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, so you should determine your needs first, and then decide which blog software solution will work best for you. Whatever you determine your needs are, your solution should, at least, have the characteristics described below.
1. Your Blogging Software Should Be Easy to Install
There are many blogging software programs available today for many different platforms. Most of them are good and will provide much of the needed functionality a person needs to blog on their website. However, if the blog software isn’t easy to install, and if you are not a programmer, you will have some trouble getting your blog started.
Even the easiest of programs to install, will be challenging to someone who is just barely familiar with using a computer, but if the installation is easy enough, you can pay a programmer or even a web designer a small amount of money to install your blog for you.
Blog software is easy to install if you only need to perform the following steps: 1) upload the software to the webserver 2) fill in your specific information, into a form, such as: the URL of the blog, the database information, the username and password to administer the blog, and an email address. 3) click the install button, and your blog gets installed. 4) log into your blog program, and personalize the blog for your own website.
2. It Should Be Easy for You to Change the Look and Feel of Your Blog
Your blog software programmed should be set up so that it is easy to change the look and feel of your blog through a quick menu selection. Most blogging software comes with several pre-defined templates that will allow you to change the look of your blog very quickly and easily.
The blogging software should also be set up so that it is easy to add templates. Usually it is as simple as uploading the new template into the template folder of the blog software – if it is more difficult than that, you should find a different blog program.
3. Your Blogging Software Should Automatically Ping Blog Servers
One of the best features of blogging software, is it’s ability to inform other websites that your blog has been updated. This process is called ‘pinging’. Pinging is an important feature because it tells the world that you have new content on your blog and they should come and check it out. Pinging is a powerful way of getting exposure and visibility to your blog relatively quickly. Search engines love to find new content so they have services that specifically search the web for new content. When you ‘ping’ one of these services, you are telling it to check out the new content on your blog.
Some of the better blogging programs available will have an interface that will let you easily choose what pinging services you can ping about the new content on your blog. Most blog programs include some of the more popular services as a standard feature in your blog software. If you want to ping more services, sometimes you will have to go into the program and change the code. A competent programmer should be able to do this for you in a few hours.
4. Your Blog Software Should Have Search-Engine Friendly URL’s
Most of the better blogging software programs that are out there today store their entries in a database. This means that many of the pages are dependent upon parameters being passed to them before they can display the pages. For web browsers, the way that parameters are passed are usually indicated by characters such as ‘?’ and ‘&’. Some blogging software requires that several parameters get passed before a single page, or blog entry, gets loaded.
Search engines usually don’t index url’s with a lot of parameters passed to them (lots of “&” in the URL), because the search engines can sometimes choke on these types of URLs. The better blogging software programs have an option to automatically ‘convert’ these URLs to more ‘search engine friendly’ URLs that don’t ‘scare’ the search engines away. These converted URLs will allow the search engines to index your entire site, and all of your post entries, which makes it easier for visitors to find your blog.
5. It Should Be Easy to Add New Features to Your Blog Software
As you become more comfortable and knowledgeable about blogging, you will eventually find the need to add new features and functions to your blogging software. If your software is designed to be ‘plug and play’, it should be very easy to add features to your software. All it takes is uploading a new feature ‘module’ to your ‘modules’ directory. Some blog scripts require a lot of code changes in order to add new features, and that can be a huge task for someone who isn’t a programmer. Sometimes it’s a huge task for someone who is a programmer.
If your blog software isn’t designed to have easy plug-in add-ons, chances are the software isn’t designed for easily adding on new features. If this is the case, you should choose another blogging software program.
If you select a blogging solution that has the included characteristics listed above, you will be well on your way to using a system that will grow with you as your needs grow, and is designed to bring more traffic to your website. The next step is to see what programs are available for you to use as your blogging solution. Some of them are free and some of them cost money.