Web pages are written using a markup language called HTML. When you first start thinking about creating your own personal web pages the thought of having to learn this HTML thing probably puts you right off the idea.

Well the days of having to create everything yourself using HTML are long gone. Certainly to create the best professional sites a thorough knowledge of HTML (and a number of other things) is required but all we are looking for here is an easy way to create a few personal web pages. There are a number of easier alternatives available.

In recent years you may have heard the term blog mentioned in relation to the web and wondered just exactly what a blog is. Well it is actualls a shortened form of the phrase "web log" and one way that it can be used is to produce a type of personal diary on the web.One advantage of making your start on the web using a blog is that the necessary software to produce a simple blog is available "free" from several sites on the web and with some of these the software runs on their web hosting. This means that all that you have to do to obtain a personal web site using a blog is to sign up for an account with one of these sites. This will give you a web address on their hosting that you can direct people to who want to see your site. You will also be provided with an online facility within your account that you can use to post whatever it is you want onto your site directly. All you will need to learn is where to go to be able to type new information in tha you want to appear on your site. No HTML knowledge is required.

Some blogs even allow for interactivity where you can permit the visitors to your site to comment on what you have said and have their comments appear alongside your original information. Not all blog services provide this option and some that do give you the choice of whether or not to allow this.

So where do you go to set up personal web pages using a blog service? Well I suggest that you start by taking a look, Live Journal, or check out the Web Journal service available from Bravenet. Each of these works differently so you may find that one suits you better than the others. They are all "free" so you could even sign up for an account with each and try them out. There are other blog hosting sites out there as well so if none of these suits you then keep looking. One thing to watch out for though is that some blog services are intended to be installed on your own hosting instead of running from the providers hosting and that is not what you are looking for at this stage.

So how can these web sites afford to supply you with a service like this free of charge? Well they are doing it because they can make money out of it. The way that they make their money from "free" sites such as the one you are about to set up is that the "free" sites display advertising on all of the pages. They decide where the ads appear and what ads are placed on your site and they collect the income from the advertising. It is that advertising income that pays for your site. Across all of the "free" sites hosted with them they will average sufficient income to pay all of the costs associated with providing that hosting as well as make a substantial profit. If that profit ever falls then they will rethink how the advertising is displayed on your site to try and increase it again. If it falls far enough they may decide to discontinue free hosting but you needn't worry about that now.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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