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Setting up a blog in order to help promote your business (and connect with your clients) is important. However, deciding which blog platform to use can be crucial and is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll have to make, as far as blogging is concerned. Finding a user-friendly platform is just the first step. Here are some details on the top four blog platforms, plus some pros and cons on each:

WordPress.com – This is the beginner version of WordPress. It’s easy to set up a blog on this platform — all that you need to do is create an account and name your blog. You then pick out which template you want to use and then choose your widgets. The downfall to this site is that your choice of templates is limited, since the site won’t allow you to program your own or mess with the HTML. Your blog is also hosted by WordPress, so there are limitations as far as uploaded media space is concerned, although you can purchase upgrades.

 

WordPress.org – This version of WordPress requires you buy your own domain name and hosting service. There is no limit to the number of add-ons available (the all-in-one SEO pack is a great example of this) and you can customize just about every aspect. This version is a bit pricier, since you do have to pay for hosting and server storage space, but you can use any template that you want. The main set up can be a bit confusing if you don’t go with one of WordPress’ recommended blog hosts, but once your blog is set up, the sky’s the limit.

 

Typepad – This blog host is the proverbial black sheep of the blogging world. Although it’s easy to set up your blog using Typepad, for some reason it doesn’t get the accolades it deserves.  You can set up your own domain name and customize the template of your choice, but your blog will always be hosted on Typepad’s servers. There are two different options available: a free account, with your blog name as part of your your-blog-name.typepad.com address, or you can purchase a hosting account directly through them for so much per month. With the free version, you’re limited to their templates, but with the paid hosting you get your own domain name and mapping, and you can upload and use any template that you want.

Blogger – Blogger was one of the first web log (blog) platforms. It’s integrated with Google, making it easy to submit to search engines. Basic hosting of your blog is free, and your main templates are limited, but can be customized, and you can always upload one of your choice. Also, you can purchase a domain name through them or from a different provider and set up free mapping on your blog. It’s fairly easy to set up a blog through blogger, but it is difficult to wade through the many help desk options if you end up getting stuck.