How exciting, a new blog! Which provider to choose?
You have options for where you do your Ontario Extend blogging, as long as (a) the blog is public and (b) that it is on a platform that produces an RSS Feed. Below you will find suggestions and links to get you started to create this new space.
Before you rush off and create your blog, let’s talk about its name. When you create a new blog, you will have to come up with a unique name that will be part of your URL, and this is something that cannot be changed after your site is made.
Your name does not need to be in the URL. Be creative! It make take a few attempts to find a name that is not used. Also avoid using names that are generic. Think of a more clever name that can represent the work you are doing in Ontario Extend.
You will also have to create a title for the blog; in this case you have the flexibility to change it later, but it is good creative practice to try something more original than “My Ontario Extend Blog” (yawn, boring). The title is where it will be listed on the site, and how other people cite your blog.
An interesting title goes a long way towards creating a personality and presence for your blogging.
It is time to do this. Read below about our suggested platforms; the button links will all open in a new tab/window, so when you have your blog created, return to this part of the path to complete your connection of your new blog to this site.
These sites are all free, hosted blogging platforms.
Hands down one of the most popular blog platforms in the world (powering more than 27% of web sites in the world), WordPress offers modern themes, great media capability, structures for organizing content, and more. We are a bit biased, but it’s the platform we recommend the most for new bloggers.
We suggest using the free, hosted WordPress platform at WordPress.com. Create your new Extend blog at WordPress.com
If you are more experienced and have your own internet domain, you can also install the self hosted version of WordPress. The way to install it depends on where your sites are hosted; there is likely an option inside your web hosting control panel (see also our guide to domains).
Once you have set up a wordpress blog, scroll to the bottom of this page for the next step.
For those that spend much time on the Google platform, installing a Blogger site is part of the array of tools already available to you.
Like WordPress, Blogger is versatile, has a good set of theme options, and offers a quality platform for blogging, using media, and integrating with other Google services.
Once you have set up a Blogger site, scroll to the bottom of this page for the next step.
What you write in Medium is organized in a blog fashion (newest items first) and it does publish an RSS feed. It offer support for easy media integration, including a new arrangement to provide access to open license images from Unsplash.
If you are looking for an easy to use writing platform without a complex dashboard interface, you will be pleasantly surprised at the Medium environment. You can create an account right away with your Google or Facebook credentials.
Once you have set up your Medium site, scroll to the bottom of this page for the next step.
Another platform that may not come to mind directly for blogging is tumblr. It’s more known for rampant sharing and re-sharing of media, and very, very short posts. But there is no reason why you could not do long form blogging in Tumblr.
It too has a collection of modern designed themes. Tumblr makes it easy to used media in your posts, offers tags to organize them, and it is very good at creating on a mobile platform.
Once you have set up your tumblr blog, scroll to the bottom of this page for the next step.
This is by no means all of the options; you might know of another publishing platform that offers a way to write content, integrate media, organize on a chronological mode, and most importantly, also publish an RSS feed.
Or, many others have going the more versatile route of setting up a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) where you can not only set up multiple blogs, but manage more web applications. Reclaim Hosting, Digital Ocean, Pantheon, 101 Site Hosting are web hosting services that allow you to take real control of your domain and to expand to subdomains and beyond. See the DoOO guide that was created for the Ontario Extend Summer Institute to help you decide if you’re ready to head down this path. See also the Ontario Extend Domain Camp materials for help in getting started with your new domain.
Okay, I Just Created a New Blog, What Now?
We have one more decision path in the road. Most likely, you are creating this new blog solely intended to publish content related to Ontario Extend. But you may decide also to write about other content. If this is the case, then jump over to the section where we help you figure out how to organize your Ontario Extend blogging in a site where you write about other topics.