new blogger
June 28, 2005 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm starting a blog. I don't want a "whatever.blogspot.com", I want a www.whatever.com blog. Can I do this using such services as Blogger? Should I buy Movable Type? Does anyone wanna help??? HELP!!!
posted by bamassippi to Technology (22 answers total)
 
What you want is a domain name. You get one through a domain name registrar. I'm not a blogger, so I can't address blog software.
posted by QIbHom at 1:48 PM on June 28, 2005


You can do this with blogger, if you have your own webspace and domain name.

You either buy the webspace or use a free hosting service that will let you use your own domain name. In the options in blogger, you can get it to post the blog onto your own webspace.

There are plenty of free blogging tools out there (just google it, there's loads), and there are always new ones coming out. There should be no need to actually buy some blogging software.
posted by lemonpillows at 1:48 PM on June 28, 2005


You can do this quite easily with typepad, too.
posted by luriete at 1:55 PM on June 28, 2005


Typepad offers this, and you don't have to get webspace or keep track of software. I think it starts at $5 a month.
posted by mathowie at 1:55 PM on June 28, 2005


I third the vote for Typepad. When I set my blog up I bought both a Typepad account and a domain name and was up and running within 24 hours.
posted by Servo5678 at 2:03 PM on June 28, 2005


NameCheap is a good, cheap domain registrar. They charge $8.88 a year and I have three domains registered there. You can use your domain at Blogspot, Typepad or LiveJournal. If you're of more an indie, DIY temperment, you can just buy hosting space wherever. Then you can use whatever blogging software you want (preferably open-source, but that's my bias), configure all the email accounts you want, and so on.
posted by Mekon at 2:54 PM on June 28, 2005


Just FYI, to do this with Movable Type you need
A) a web hosting service that lets you use MySQL
B) your own domain name, which you will point at your web hosting service.

You'll download the MT software, upload it to your server space, create a MySQL database, do some frobnicating with a config file, and then start blogging (optional step: edit the template files to make the blog look the way you want). This is called "self-hosting" because everything--the software, the output files, etc--are hosted at your site.

There's a definite learning curve involved in all this. You've got to be prepared to get your fingers a little dirty. It's how my own blog is set up.
posted by adamrice at 3:34 PM on June 28, 2005


Also FYI, the routine with Wordpress is similar (the frobnicating step is a little faster). Both are good packages; each has a few bells and whistles the other lacks.
posted by adamrice at 3:35 PM on June 28, 2005


There's a good related question with this: What's the best blog software out there for people who lack technical skills, but want the same effect as bamassippi is looking for? As adamrice points out, MT and others require you to get your hands dirty, and some folks might be looking to avoid that...
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:22 PM on June 28, 2005


NotMyselfRightNow, WordPress can be installed automatically on many hosts' Fantastico installers. Grab a nice theme and you're up and running.

bamassippi, you can get MT for free on a limited license (1 user, three blogs), so don't buy it unless you need more than that. Alternatives like Textpattern and WordPress are completely gratis.

I recommend GoDaddy for the domain, and Hostmatters for hosting. Typepad's plans are a rip-off in terms of bandwidth and storage pricing; compare here and here. There are lots of hosts who give you far more bandwidth and storage than Hostmatters for the same money, but the support is top-notch and reliability is very good.

You might also consider Textdrive. If I wasn't so happy with Hostmatters I'd be over there. Their forums are great, very supportive and technically literate community and a lot of authors of cutting-edge open source web publishing software are employed there.

This comparative survey (in which I participated) of MT-friendly web hosts may be useful to you.
posted by evariste at 4:58 PM on June 28, 2005


For those of you that might want to add blogging capability to their existing site:
I have an existing website that I added an RSS feed on recently. As it is a website that I just wanted to add one RSS page to...NOT make it a blog. I've been using this feed generator called ListGarden:

http://www.softwaregarden.com/products/listgarden/index.html

So now people can browse to http://mydomain.com or they can add add http://mydomain.com/rss.xml to their RSS reader. It's a good way for people to know when the site is updated and has helped drive traffic to the site.
posted by hokie409 at 5:37 PM on June 28, 2005


I use DreamHost. It's cheap, and they'll install WordPress (a blogging tool) for free. If you (or anyone, for that matter), look nto it and decide to use it, email me. I might be able to get you a promotional discount.
posted by danb at 5:46 PM on June 28, 2005


Typepad's plans are a rip-off in terms of bandwidth and storage pricing

If you think Typepad's plans are a rip-off then you're not the kind of web publisher Typepad is intended for. If all you're doing is running a blog, and you don't want to do your own blog software installation/maintenance/troubleshooting, Typepad is designed for you.
posted by jjg at 5:54 PM on June 28, 2005


My most recent experience registering with GoDaddy was a real turn-off. They've become so sleazy. You essentially have to sign up for multiple TLDs for a given domain then remember to cancel the ones you don't want before you pay. They're clearly hoping to trick the inexperienced into signing up (and then paying) for things they don't want or need. Their prices are very good and their services and tools are excellent but it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence when a business stoops to such underhanded tactics. GANDI costs a couple of bucks more but has served me well in the past and I think it's worth it to deal with more honorable people.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2005


Another caution about Typepad. They don't have a reasonable solution for comment spam. I left over a year ago to go with WordPress in part because I was getting slammed and there wasn't much they could do about it. I have friends who are making the switch now for the same reason. Since I switched to WordPress (and installed a couple of easy to use plugins) I have had little to no comment spam. And it's free.

The downside of WordPress for a non-technical person is that you're going to have to go with a ready-made design template. TypePad is much easier to customize. On the other hand WordPress 1.5 has a great templating architecture.
posted by Kimberly at 8:30 PM on June 28, 2005


Buy a domain name and webspace. Use the Blogger FTP mode to post on your blog.
posted by webmeta at 9:21 PM on June 28, 2005


I switched to LivingDot about 5 months ago. They are a MovableType Host meaning they will install it for you and fix it if it breaks. The support is incredible (average 5 minute response time to emails) and they bend over backwards to make sure you're taken care of. You can get both your domain and hosting through them. Their basic plan is more than generous as well.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:23 PM on June 28, 2005


Also, it may be wise to make sure whoever you register your domain through, registers it in YOUR name and not their own company's name... if you ever want to switch providers, they may try to claim they own the domain to try to make you stay.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:33 AM on June 29, 2005


(Disclaimer: I work for the company that makes Movable Type, TypePad, and LiveJournal, and I use all three.)

Kimberly's points about comment spam are correct as of a year ago, since then we've done a lot to block spam before users even face it, and we've announced a number of new features that let you better manage comments, which will be launched in a few days.
posted by anildash at 1:39 AM on June 29, 2005


1. register a domain (I like www.way2host.com)
2. make sure that you have PHP and MySQL enabled for MT
3. download MT and put it on the FTP site

Simple as that... there are tons of how tos out there... good luck!
posted by k8t at 5:50 AM on June 29, 2005


From TypePad's help: "You can map a domain to your TypePad site with the Plus [$71.60/yr] and Pro [$119.60/yr] levels of TypePad."

If you're like me, the Basic plan ($39.60/yr) will cover your blogging needs, you won't be inclined to upgrade into overkill land, and you will just live with the crufty URL.
posted by booth at 11:41 AM on June 29, 2005


Another caution about Typepad. They don't have a reasonable solution for comment spam.

FWIW, that's about to change.
posted by fooljay at 7:26 PM on June 29, 2005


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