When I first started blogging, I really didn't know what I wanted to do honestly. I knew I wanted a blog but wasn't sure if I just wanted to talk about my day to day life or commentary on marketing, advertising and social media. My other dilemma was blog design. Sure I can write but I really didn't know how to make my site aesthetically appealing enough to draw a crowd.
Like a lot of people, I started with a Wordpress blog with a pre-defined template. It was easy enough, had alright tracking and whatnot but there were features I wanted to add in there that I really didn't know how to do. Plus, there were very few templates that had adjustable settings. I would like the design of some but not the colors and vice versa. My blog was in a creative pickle.
Then I discovered Squarespace.
It isn't a free hosting space but totally worth the $8/month I pay for it. Squarespace is a perfect tool for those of us with a small amount of design and code knowledge but not enough to build a site completely from scratch. They had templates that looked MUCH cleaner than I saw from Wordpress and were customizable. Sure my blog may not be the most aesthetically pleasing thing on the block but it's a far cry more professional looking than what I was working with prior to this last spring. They also make hosting your own URL easier to, making a link to your personal URL an easy one-click process.
Not only do they make for a great product but have great customer service as well. I had issues the other day with a feature and mentioned it on Twitter. A few minutes later I was speaking with someone on Twitter about the issue and was able to file a request via the website for further assistance. We were able to remedy my situation in a couple of hours. Not bad!
I host not only my own site but my company's blog on there as well. With the easily customizable features, automatic meta-tagging and the ability to host two different blogs on the same site (like I do with Brain Wads and my Journal) and a free iPhone app to keep up with posts, stats AND comments, it's a great tool to look into. This post will probably get scoffed at by hardcore Wordpress users and developers but hey - it's my blog and I can write what I want to.