Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole

What is a blog

Blog is short for “web log” a blog contains a series of entries, call posts, usually ordered by date. Blogs contain all sorts of information and serve many purposes; a blog may be used as an online journal, to report news, to give site updates, to post entertaining images, videos and links, to show off new work, to post articles, recipes or reviews, to poll and communicate with visitors, to make political commentary, so on and so forth. Overall, a blog os an outlet for a person, or a group of persons, to express thoughts and weblogs cover many of these subjects at one time or another.

How Do I Get A Blog?

Many services/sites come with the option of a blog, like Myspace, Facebook, Bebo. There are also numerous sites which exist solely for the purpose of online journaling and blogging. These sites host one’s blog as well as provide the scripts needed to run it. Below, are some links to popular journal/blog sites:

Still, there are more options when it comes to obtaining a blog. There exist countless scripts which can be installed to one’s web space and work independently of any other site. In order to run these scripts, one will need a website online (probably a paid hosting account and/or domain) with enough bandwidth, space and other specific resources – such ass CGI, PHP and databases – to run the script.

Some popular blogging software options are

Now What?

Depending upon where one goes, each site or script will have detailed sign up and installation instructions. For additional help with some of the aforementioned services, try these sites:

Customization

When one installs a blog, one can generally use it right away. However, there are usually many ways for one to customize this blog to his or her liking. For instance, WordPress has themes and plug ins which one can download and install to one’s blog and Cutenews lists add ons and skins as well as some hacks on the official site. MT boasts plug ins as well. One can integrate their blog into their site in various ways; with some scripts, like WordPress, one can create static pages within the control panel and operate one’s entire site that way.

Most blog scripts allow one to assign posts to categories and/or tags for ease of viewing and editing. Additionally, WP and MT support users and allow the administrator to set roles and permissions regarding registered users and the activities available to them. WP also allows one to use a blogroll, a list of links to blogs and upload files, such as images, to one’s blog. Most scripts also submit a ping to

Blogs hosted on sites such as Livejournal, Deadjournal and Xanga have features unique to those sites such as communities (group blogs), friends lists, icon usage interests fields et cetera. Check out the features each site or service offers when making the decision to use

Comments

Most scripts and sites all others to reply to a blog post via comments. Generally, visitors are allowed to input information such as name, e-mail and URL along with comments. Some individual blogs may require commenters to be registered and logged in to see and comment on certain posts. Blogs and journals on larger blog sites may be able to set different options for other registered users of the site and for users which are on their friends list.

Many scripts have different plug ins to change the look and feel of comments. Plug ins can be used to combat spam, use avatars, enable emoticons, enable or disable HTML usage, allow threading of comments so others may comment on comments, notify commenters of replies et cetera.

FAQ

Some questions pop up often regarding blogging scripts.

How much bandwidth and/or space do I need?

Check out the requirements of the particular script you wish to use. Many scripts list only language and server requirements because the blog and its pages is dynamically generated and not stored on the server.

Do I need paid hosting/a domain?

No. If you have a free host which meets all the requirements of the script you wish you use, then you’re fine but it may be easier to find a paid host which meets these requirements than a free one. You don’t need a domain but if you pay for hosting, you may opt for a domain name as well.

Is it better to go with a service or a script?

If you’re looking for particular features, you may find it difficult to find a hosted blog service which provides them. However, if you want something basic and more simple to use, a service like Livejournal may be right up your ally. Consider what features you require, what you want, your skill at webdesign and coding so on and so forth.

Should I use ___ or ___?

Use whichever script or service best fits your needs, skills and resources. Ask around and research each service before making your final decision.

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