What Blogging Software Should You Use?
There are a number of top-quality blogging systems available today, many of them for free. There are hosted solutions like Blogger, WordPress.com, and TypePad, and there are install-it-yourself software packages like Drupal and WordPress. Although the hosted services are easier to get up and running with, I recommend you use the free WordPress software installed on your own host.
There are several reason to install your own blogging software. The first is that you can use your own domain name — yourname.com is a good bet, if you can get it. The second is that you can modify and extend how the software works to keep up with your changing needs. If you decide you want advertising, or a forum, or a newsletter, you’re going to need to access the system “behind-the-scenes”.
WordPress is incredibly popular, which means that hundreds of people are developing themes (the appearance of the site) and plugins (small programs that add capabilities to your site, like adding flickr pictures or loading news stories from other sites), many of which are available for free. It’s also incredibly easy to install and use. Many webhosts will even install it for you (look for webhosts that offer “Fantastico”, a service that automatically installs and configures web-based software).
My own personal site, dwax.org, uses Drupal, and I regret it. Drupal is amazing software, but it’s not nearly as popular as WordPress, which means that I either have to figure out how to do things on my own or wait until someone more knowledgeable than myself figures it out. With WordPress, someone’s already figured out how to do most of the stuff you could possibly dream of doing with it.