Where to casually and quickly set up a blog
September 7, 2022 11:44 AM   Subscribe

If you wanted to quickly start a blog that is going to be very casual and small-audience, where would you do it in 2022?

I did a lot of blogging back in the beginning of the weblog era and during Peak Blogging, but I haven't had a blog in several years now. I'm feeling inspired to do the kind of writing that is suitable for a blog, but don't want to put a lot of effort into setting it up. I want something I can set up quick when the mood next strikes me, and not spend a lot of/any money on, since it's going to be casual and mostly for self-expression.

I was on blogger back in the day, and also had my own domain for awhile. If the answer is "blogger/blogspot" I have no problem being the blogging equivalent of that person who still has a hotmail address.
posted by Well I never to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Part of my question, I think, is whether Medium is a good choice, and wby or why not.
posted by Well I never at 11:45 AM on September 7

I think Medium is a bad choice. They put up giant popups/etc without allowing authors choice in the matter, which IMO should completely disqualify them.

I would recommend Wordpress. They've been around forever, they give authors control over how things are displayed without requiring you to use any of it, and it's open-source and extremely widely used, so you can change providers easily.
posted by wesleyac at 11:51 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]

Seconding Wordpress. The only reason it took me as long as it did to set up my own blog was paradoxically because Wordpress made it too easy - so I kept going up my own butt playing with design choices. Once I calmed down with that it took about 20 minutes to get something set up, and 15 of those was me resizing the photo of my logo. I sprang for the domain as well; if I hadn't it would be totally free.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]

I have experience with using WordPress to host sites for small businesses. I don't like WordPress. I find it difficult to use for many reasons. I did a trial once of SquareSpace, and I liked it much better than WordPress. But you should be aware that the low-end plan (which is probably suitable for your purposes) costs $16 per month.
posted by alex1965 at 12:17 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

If you want something lightweight and low-tech, check out tilde.club.
posted by adamrice at 12:41 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Maybe wordpress.com, which is the hosted version, so you don't have to install and configure the software yourself, or have your own hosting. Hosting your own wordpress site is probably the most flexible option, but also some work, and you have to be willing to do some amount of updating over time.
posted by snofoam at 1:21 PM on September 7

Honestly, sometimes I still like tumblr for things like this.
posted by helloimjennsco at 1:32 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]

I disliked wordpress.com's 'new' block editor released ~2 years ago so much that I stopped blogging--'classic' blocks were awful too (I lost content thanks to bugs in it back then!). Some people love the new editor, I guess, so what I'm saying is try this out a good bit before making a commitment. And if this is a simple journal, Dreamwidth comes to mind.
posted by Wobbuffet at 1:33 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Blogger.com is still around, still free, very easy to start and good for a simple, low-circulation blog. I have one there, and helped a friend start another one recently. If you want nothing fancy, Blogger is for you.
posted by beagle at 2:23 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]

Wordpress.com has a free tier. You can upgrade and get your own domain, plus some other stuff for a few bucks a month. I like that they worry about security and I don't have to.
posted by kathrynm at 3:56 PM on September 7

Like beagle, I have had good experience with blogger.com both on my own, and helping a friend get started. Only problem is that they removed the very nice email notification option. Or at least they say they're removing it. And I like being able to track how many, if any, people are looking at each article.

And I agree with helloimjennsco that tumblr.com is a good candidate. It is very good for short thing posts. I particularly like how they make it easy to add posts based on text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio, and video.

Of the two, tumblr.com is probably easier to get started with, but I feel like it's more for very short, link to a cool thing, posts. And blogger is for longer text with photos embedded.
posted by mikefranks at 2:15 AM on September 8

I am still on Blogger.com and I have 2-6 different blogs I started at one time or another.
posted by kschang at 4:17 AM on September 8

I'd go for Tumblr if I only needed something simple, because it's so easy and quick.

Or WordPress if I wanted something a bit more traditionally-blog-like with more flexibility.

I'd avoid Medium. They seem to change their direction very frequently and I'd have very little confidence that my blog would remain free / available / accessible / easy to use / etc over the medium term.

There are a few more suggestions in this ask from May.
posted by fabius at 5:04 AM on September 8

I'd go for Tumblr if I only needed something simple, because it's so easy and quick.

This is my recommendation, as well. Setting-up a Tumblr is so low-friction as to be utterly effortless. And, the library of custom designs is actually quite good and very easy to further customize. Wordpress, in my experience, isn’t nearly as pain-free.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:10 AM on September 8

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