Then I opened five (yes, 5) accounts at Blog-City, back when there was a free (ad-supported) version, and linked each of them to my next five static webpages. But soon I had learned html and enough CSS to do my own web-keeping and Blog-City stopped offering permanently free blogs. So I closed three out of those two.
Blog-City and LJ are both favorite blogging platforms, and I like WordPress, too.
Updated August 4, 2010: Blog-City suddenly announced it will close January 2012. I have backed-up and deleted the two blogs I had left there already. The content from ShamanicShift's and Tortoise Cat's Events and Updates (Scribblings and Scratchings) has been integrated here and I opened a new blogspot for the Tortoise Cat.
WordPress.org offers the WP blogging platform free for installation on a server, for folks who want to host their own WP blogs. Security vulnerabilities must be troubleshooted to successfully host a WP blog, however. The extra know-how required plus the costs of the hosting make hosting a WP blog another non-free blogging option. (WordPress.com does host free, but ad-supported, blogs on their server that come without security risks, but there are fees (modest and reasonable) for most customizing and for removing the ads. The last time I checked, visitors see the ads, but logged in members do not.
Blogger is still my favorite
I still don't know why, when I already had six blogs going, I began my Blogger blog, nowadays nicknamed "my blogspot," but I keep it open because I like Google's Blogger service a lot.
I would not dismiss Blogger as "just for beginners."
There are no ads or the blogger's own ads. Blogger has been owned by Google since 2003, so it is extra-easy to display Google Adsense on Blogger, (and voluntary). Other ads may be displayed with, or instead of Google Adsense (in compliance with all TOS agreements). Recently integration with Amazon became an option, enabling bloggers to include text and/or picture links to relevant Amazon products during blogging.
Blogger blogs come with a top navigation bar in several colors for blending it in. But the navbar is easy to hide through a hack. Blogger does not display advertising beyond the navbar, but Blogger's TOS requires the "B" Blogger logo to be displayed somewhere on the blog.
Blogger offers total control over the blog's html or drag and drop customization of the look and feel, add-ons and functionality with editable gadgets on a layout. Blogger has integrated itself with many services.
I found some "Blogger hacks" listed in Blogger's support pages and forum. Many, many Blogger tips and tricks have been posted around the Web. For free Blogger templates, just search.
Blogger enhancements discovered or devised by bloggers:
- How to display recent posts
- Set up a tag cloud
- MakeUseOf's top ten Blogger hacks and tips
- FiveMinuteGenius's Blogger tips and tricks
- Blogger Buster's complete list of Blogger widgets
Blogger has long been derided as the host-of-choice for spam-blogs, or splogs.
Google's spider-bots continuously seek and detect TOS violators, and freezes, then deletes, those algorithmically suspicious blogs (automatically). The process pauses a few weeks, awaiting a human response (from the owner's suddenly frozen dashboard) to signal a false positive and trigger a review. The human review may take a week to ten days to happen. Release happens a day or two after the false positive has been confirmed.
Google's clean-up process may be running far behind the sploggers, but I rarely see nepharious Blogger blogs as I research.
MySpace stopped allowing outgoing links to Blogger blogs, because of Blogger's bad reputation as a host for phishers, malware intallers and other splogger types. So far, I have not encountered restrictions on links to Blogspot URLs anywhere else.
To be continued...