Quick update to this post: I’m still on Weebly for my website, but I’ve switched to WordPress for my blogs, and will most likely be making the move to self-hosted WordPress, as well. Hope it’s not too difficult.
In the past, I’ve used Dreamweaver, WordPress & Blogger for creating websites and for blogging.
For this personal website and blog, I actually decided to try Weebly as it seemed to be the fastest, easiest way to get something up and running in minutes without having to pay for web hosting services. So far, it’s getting the job done, and it’s super easy to use. Compared to WordPress, however, it feels like child’s play and it doesn’t really feel powerful the way WordPress does. So, I may eventually switch out to WordPress (at least for the blog) for a couple of reasons.
For my personal blogs in the past, I used Blogger and though my actually unique visitor stats weren’t too shabby, the templates have never looked like actual custom-designed websites, nor professional and I also did not seem to be part of a larger blogger community. That said, I’ve seen it work for some people! I wasn’t exactly looking to monetize my site, so it did the job for me. Now, I’m trying to take all this blogging business much more seriously, so again, I may eventually need to set up camp elsewhere.
WordPress is quite a bit more complex to use, but ultimately has at least two major perks: first, it assures you get more bloggers posting on your page and secondly, you have much more flexibility in terms of the design (with so many widgets & plugins), producing a much more refined, customized site. We used basic WordPress at Cornell for the Graduate Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) blog, which was later converted into a website plus blog elsewhere. I think they are still use self-hosted WordPress to run all that.
That said, some people opt for another website builder or host, then just link a WordPress blog to it. In this case, there is no need to download a WordPress interface or programs to build a site. Ultimately, I will probably do this, as for the moment, I’m looking to do this all quickly & cheaply in time for a travel bloggers conference, TBEX.
Here is one case– and I could post millions! This one happens to be my little sister’s newly released photography website and blog, Elyana Photography. I love how it looks more dynamic and includes music. At one point in my past, I actually took a few Flash courses, though it seems like today the web moves on keywords more so than fancy designs. I know you can add music to Weebly, but not sure about all the other more dynamic features. She uses a web host and WordPress combination. Her web host is “Show it”, which didn’t make this list. I don’t think I’ll add anything too fancy (or distracting) to my site and blog. Just want it to be chic & user-friendly.
All of these platforms offer the possibility to advertise, but definitely in the paid, full options for Weebly and WordPress (self-hosted), not in the free versions of either. Something you may want to keep in mind. Anyhow, stay posted for changes coming soon!