How to Start a Blog – dasBlog

dasBlog (Develop a Stunning Blog) is a simple content management and content builders reviewing system that allows a chronological and categorized management of usually small notes and articles, helping you to start a blog easily!

To allow aggregation of the content using common tools, the system supports the RSS 2.0 format, which can be generated for several types of views, including the “front page”, per-category views, and a view for the comments on every article.

How to Start a Blog - dasBlog

We constantly test the leading blog creators and rank them according to their ease of use, features set, value for the price, and overall performance.

Below you can find our updated review of services and platforms available to create your blog.

But First…

How to start a blog myself – Shouldn’t I just hire a professional?

start blogging in 2018

You may read through this page and think to yourself about how complicated this all seems. Just as you would trust a plumber to install a new toilet in your home, so too should you trust a web designer to build your blog or website – something you presume to be equally out of your realm. Everyone is good at their own thing, right? Wrong!

Blog systems are designed with all users in mind. This means that even if you have a minimal amount of experience, you can create your own website. This is accomplished through the use of intuitive platforms that are as simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a pre-designed, pre-programmed template.

Most of today’s websites follow a conventional layout. The average user conforms to this standard, requiring only the ability to construct a site, edit content easily, and make changes when necessary. With just a few clicks and settings changes, website designers enable users to create personal sites, blogs, portfolios, and even online stores.

This is not to say that web developers are a dying breed. The profession is still vital to the industry, which is also made up of companies that require specific website features and interfaces. These sites are unique enough to demand the cost and skill necessary to hire web developers.

And now for some Mini Reviews…

Start Blogging with 

Since its founding in 2006, Wix has grown to become one of the most well-known and popular online website builders. Its massive growth is a testament not only to the ease of use of the platform but to the revolutionary idea that anyone can – and should – be able to build their own website and blog away with ease. In our tests we found that starting a blog with Wix not only met our expectations, it exceeded them.

Is it easy to use?

Wix has the most innovative drag and drop, What You See Is What You Get, website builder available. Where once users had to have years of coding experience to make a website, Wix’s code-free interface makes adding new features to a website extremely simple. Complicated designs are no problem for Wix and with monthly additions to their feature catalog, there is always something available to streamline and improve a blog.

The total time necessary to become familiar with the platform shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes for the average user, but if you get stuck while building a website, Wix has a support article for literally every feature within the builder. Alternatively, the phone support is quite effective but is only available between 6am – 5pm PST.

What does it come with?

Wix has a massive collection of over 500 design templates, ensuring there is something for every taste and website theme. Each design is modern and updated to meet the latest internet trends and standards. The foolproof pre-populated template system ensures that even the most creatively-challenged users will be well guided.

One of Wix’s most futuristic features is their AI design assistant, Wix ADI. Wix ADI allows users to take a backseat while it creates a website on its own. The feature is unlike any other on the market, automatically extracting information from pre-existing sources like social media profiles and populating various sections with text relevant to a site.

Wix’s e-commerce features have been vastly improved over the years. Previously the integrated shopping tool was lacking important features like the ability to send email confirmations, configuring taxes and shipping and even tracking orders. Wix has since introduced a more advanced and comprehensive e-commerce toolset, which includes the ability to control and customize the entire ordering process.

In 2016 mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage. It is therefore imperative that webmasters have an equal or great focus on their mobile users. Wix’s mobile editor ensures that visitors have an optimized website version no matter what device they are using. The Mobile Action Bar integrates key features like telephone dialing, email, and other contact information directly on the bottom of each mobile site.

Will I get my money’s worth?

Wix provides developer-level quality at a fraction of the price. In fact, their basic plan is completely free. This makes Wix a great way to “try before you buy.” Once you decide to purchase a premium plan, packages start at $4.50 per month. The most popular Unlimited option costs $12.50 per month and provides a free domain.

Our Final Thoughts on Wix’s blog features.

Wix changed the website builder market and their continued success is enabling them to innovate. Users without knowledge of how to start their first blog or website used to be stuck having to hire expensive professionals, but with Wix – and especially through features like Wix ADI – the only thing to worry about is what kind of website to create. This makes Wix our most highly recommended website builder.

iPage’s Blogging Experience

Operating as an online service provider since 1998, iPage is well known for their all-inclusive packages that feature a lot of freebies and extras. Catering to novice and advanced users alike, iPage offers an intuitive builder platform at a competitive price.

Is it easy to use?

iPage uses a drag and drop, What You See Is What You Get, website building platform. This makes it easy to build your own website in a matter of hours and then keep it updated it with new content, images, videos, and more; all without needing any coding knowledge.

What does it come with?

iPage is one of the most feature-rich website builders available. The web design software offers users a choice of over 1000 templates and themes, most of which are modern enough to meet today’s web standards. The app store is full of plugins that provide users with the tools to start a blog, create a photo gallery, or even create an online store. Additionally, iPage provides a free domain name, email address, $100 of Bing and Yahoo ad credits, cPanel, and unlimited domains.

On top of that, iPage offers a consumer ranked support suite which includes tutorials, QA testing, and a 24/7 phone, chat, and email customer service line.

Will I get my money’s worth?

iPage offers a single plan that begins at $2.75 per month. After an introductory term, plans go up to $5.98 per month for a three-year term, $7.98 per month for a two-year term, and $9.98 per month for a one year term. Users can also opt to pay $13.98 on a monthly basis.

Our Final Thoughts

iPage provides a great value with some great features and freebies that you will actually use. Their website builder is easy to use and appropriate for even fledgling users.

Weebly Blog Functions 

Weebly was founded in 2007 with the mission of creating a platform that you can use to make your own website or eCommerce store. Now trusted by tens of millions of users, and over 325 million unique monthly visitors, Weebly continues to grow and thrive, even expanding into mobile app development.

Is it easy to use?

Weebly’s platform is based on the drag-and-drop model. This enables users to simply place elements on their pages without needing to code. This means that creating full-featured websites takes a fraction of the time it once did.

What does it come with?

Weebly offers a competitive package of features. The templates and themes in their catalog offer some of the nicest online store, business, portfolio, blog, and personal pages we have ever tested. The eCommerce tool allows users to create a customized, yet professional storefront with advanced tools like inventory management, order tracking, and abandoned cart retrieval.

If marketing is important to you, Weebly’s premium packages come with a suite of tools including email engagement and SEO settings. Their mobile app makes it easy to manage everything on the go on iOS and Android devices.

Will I get my money’s worth?

With a free plan offering, Weebly is a good option if you simply want to try your hand at website building. Once you’re serious about your website you can upgrade to a Starter package for $8.00 per month or a Pro package for $12.00 a month. The eCommerce Business plan costs $25.00 per month and once you become a power seller you can upgrade to the highest tier Performance package for $38.00 per month.

All paid packages come with a free domain and a 100% happiness guarantee.

Our Final Thoughts  

Weebly is a good option for personal and eCommerce users. The platform is highly developed and, through user input, has become one of the easiest to use.

To interact with other sites and weblogs, the system supports the Pingback and Trackback protocols and it is also capable of notifying that your weblog has changed, whenever you post or update content. It will also track every external referrer, that means every external hyperlink that has been clicked to reach your site.

Content can be edited and submitted to the site using a web-based DHTML editor (for Internet Explorer only at this time) or weblog tools that support the BloggerAPI and/or MovableType API. You can also submit content through a POP3 mail account (“Mail To Weblog”). The DHTML editor and the “Mail To Weblog” feature also support attachments and embedded pictures.

The content presentation is fully controllable using user-defined templates that allow customization of virtually any aspect of the presentation. The template language that is used is largely compatible with that of the Radio Userland tool and therefore, templates created for this tool can be easily reused in DasBlog.

Our motivations for building this website and helping others create a blog is pretty clear –

  1. First, Clemens wanted to move away from his desktop-based blogging tool Radio Userland to a server-based solution and host that inside the intelligence domain and on our own servers. Still, he was happy with a quite a few of the nicer features of Radio, including its support for highly customizable templates and didn’t want to leave that for something less capable.
  2. Bart tries to make sure that the intelligence homepage stays current, but finds that really difficult to do. So he wants a simple content management system that would let him maintain the site.
  3. The other guys & gals over here and a few friends simply want to have their own blogs and therefore we need something that we know and can customize, maintain and tweak ourselves.

Other notes:

  • This is no “for money” product. We have developed that for our own needs and because we are educators and will use this code base in exercises with our students and therefore will give it away for them to play with, anyway, we can just as well share it with the rest of the folks out there, too.
  • This is “free software” without the politics. The software license we chose for DasBlog is plain and simple: BSD. You may use, modify and redistribute our stuff as long as you keep us out of trouble and leave our and all of the other contributor’s copyright notices in. If you want to derive a closed-source, proprietary product from it … just go right ahead. We don’t like the GPL and the whole “must disclose the source of derivative works” interpretation of “free”.