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My wife is looking at starting a blog to help keep all of her relatives up to date with her mothers failing health. I need information on how to go about starting a blog, where to set it up, basically anything you can tell me.

Blogging is a COMPLETELY new idea to me, and I have next to NO knowledge or understanding of how it works.


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There are 3 parts you need to decide how you want handled. There is the hostname, the hosting, and the blog software. You can choose to do it all yourself, in which case you have handle all 3 options and you get most flexibility, or you can shortcut it all and use a existing blogging service like Blogger.

Things like Blogger give a more limited enviornment, but they will handle most of the technical issues, host the blog, assign you a hostname and give you the software. The problem is that the hostname is going be something like <your-choice>.blogger.com. The software options are going to be limited, and if the servers get busy you suffer along with everyone else. Its also free, but they will post adds on it.

On the other hand, you can register your own hostname (which can now be <your-choice>.com or <family-name>.com or whatever, assuming it is not already taken). Then you can find one of the many hosting companies out there and buy a contract. For most people that is going to cost them less then $10 per month. Not only do you get your own hostname, and website, but you also get a whole bunch of email address you can add and remove for your family. Most hosting companies will register your hostname often for free or a reduced fee when you sign up with them. I prefer to pay the $25 or per year on my own and register the host on my own, but for a first timer avail yourself of their services.

Once you have a hostname and hosting company hosting it, most hosting companies will have a bunch of web apps which will allow you to manage your website. They will also provide you a choice of 5 to 10 popular blogging software engines which they will install for you and do basic configuration, after which you can use them or modify them as you wish. Most will provide some form of support forum or ticketing system for basic questions.

And if you want to and know what you are doing, you can grab any other blogging package or content management system (they will most likely offer a few of those too) from the many many free ones out there and install it even if they don't offer it. Or you could even write your own.

It is both simpler and more complicated then it sounds. Blogger and Myspace and the like would certainly be easier, but you get to swim in the same pool with everyone, don't get your own hostname, most likely will gave adds on your website outside your control.

Edited by Vlad
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Wordpress is very good and very simple to use, and is also expandable enough to be quite sophisticated.

If you want the software (free) to host on your own site, you can download it at wordpress.org.

On the other hand, if you don't mind it being hosted for you, wordpress.com will let you create a wordpress site for free in just a few seconds, I believe under the url naming convention of <yournamehere>.wordpress.com.

GeorgiaIPSC.com is wordpress blog.

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My vote also goes to Wordpress. It's clean, and easy to use (once it's setup that is). It is usually one of the blogging software options at many hosting companies that offer blogging software.

It does require a bit of server-side knowledge to install this type of thing yourself though, so finding a pre-built option may be your best bet.

+1 to using the pay to play Wordpress service.

If you are on a Mac system, Apples .Mac service coupled with their iWeb software automates this process and makes it easy for an average human to do the whole thing themselves with a customized site look to boot. Apples iWeb is a pretty cool setup for making websites without the learning curve.

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