I’ll come back to WordPress.org later because it’s the next step on the publisher’s development path. WordPress.org is publishing with the training wheels off and my #1 recommendation
Unlike the original open source program, WordPress.com doesn’t require the publisher to already have a hosting service. There’s no installation and no documentation to read through before you can call yourself a “Wordpress
Like Blogger, it’s just a matter of signing up, choosing a template, writing your content and having the pleasure of seeing it online right away. But… there is a very big “but.”
There are also no ads. At least, none for the publisher. WordPress.com supports itself and pays for the hosting by placing ads on its publishers’ sites but it doesn’t allow those publishers to support themselves by putting ads on their own sites.
If you’re getting 25,000 views a month, WordPress.com will let you split any revenues 50/50 — so they’ll let you keep half the money your successful site makes. If you want to become a VIP member, you can put on all the ads you want in return for a cool ,000 to 0,000 a year. I can’t imagine that there are even many big firms willing to pay that.
WordPress.com is really for small-scale bloggers who don’t want to make money from their websites. If it offers any advantage at all over Blogger, it’s that it lets you play around with the site without paying so that you’ll be
ready to dive right in when you want to move up to WordPress.org.
Otherwise you can do exactly the same thing on Blogger.com, and get paid for it.
But blogs aren’t for everyone. Although they’re now one of the easiest ways to get online, they have to be updated regularly and aren’t the best option for static content.
Fortunately Blogger isn’t the only way to get online fast. Google’s Sites, the replacement for its Page Creator, makes building a static website as simple as point, click and type.
Again, you get a choice of templates that you can edit freely and simply by clicking buttons and typing in text boxes. It’s little different to using Word or any other piece of user-friendly software. And because its run by Google, placing your AdSense code onto the site is pretty painless too.
Just click the “Insert” tab and one of the options, hidden alongside the calendar, document, map, and photo widgets, is to place the AdSense code. Again, it’s all very simple stuff. The foundation of the site is ready. All you have to do is paste in the content and you’re online.
All you’ll have to do next is let people know where you are. And that’s where the disadvantages of creating a website using a free tool like Google Sites kicks in.
With a website created through Google Sites, search engine optimization becomes difficult. Your URL will be https://sites.google.com/site/[name]/, which is about as catchy a ball of slush. It’s unlikely to get very far in search
engines and when you try to spread it around, it will simply make you look unprofessional, however great the template looks.
Google’s instant website machine can be a useful place to get started but it’s really designed to help people like teachers display information to a closed audience. It’s not a good way to earn a lot of money, and even for professionals that URL is going to be so off-putting on a business site that you’ll be better off buying your own domain name and finding a host.
One way to do that and still keep the simplicity of Google Pages is to use a service like Moonfruit’s. Like Google Pages, Moonfruit — and there are plenty of other companies now offering similar services — provides templates and
an editor that lets you move elements around on the page, write text and upload images, all without ever seeing a line of code — except for the AdSense code which you can also handle through the site itself.
You’ll have to figure out a design, something that might take a little effort but it’s good, creative fun, and you can do it for free as well, provided you’re willing to go in and make a change every few months. Moonfruit deletes free sites that it thinks aren’t being used. If you’re willing to pay as little as .49 a month though, you can also buy a domain name (again, you can do that without even leaving Moonfruit, if you want) and pay Moonfruit for the hosting.
You’ll have your own site, with your own domain, with AdSense and even Google Analytics, without seeing a line of code or going anywhere near an ftp account.
One disadvantage with Moonfruit and its competitors though is that the reason you don’t have to see any code is that it’s built with Flash. You’re working with a graphic interface rather than the website itself. That matters for two reasons: search engines can’t read Flash sites; and Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads can’t display them.
Moonfruit gets around those problems by translating everything you put on the site into an HTML version.
That keeps the search engine robots happy but the translation isn’t great so the small number of people who reach the site with an Apple gadget are going to see something pretty unattractive. But that’s not the biggest problem. If you’re looking to set up a simple business-oriented website, perhaps to sell services or pitch products, then a template service like Moonfruit’s will be fine.
But if you’re looking to earn from advertising in general and from AdSense in particular, you need your visitors to keep returning so that they can continue clicking the ads. That means presenting dynamic content, articles that are updated and refreshed regularly.
You’ll find that easier with a blog.
Written by Maria Bazzer
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