Some web service providers offer blog hosting as a separate type of website hosting. A blog is just another website, and so can be housed on free, shared, VPS or dedicated web servers, though many blog services are free. One difference is that blog hosting packages usually come with a suite of tools, features and templates that allow even the novice user to create and maintain an attractive blog. Stand-alone blog hosts, such as Blogger and WordPress, offer a free service to get started, with the option to upgrade later if more advanced capabilities are needed.
In their evaluation of the top blog services of 2012, the editors of TopTenReviews.com suggest that potential bloggers look for comprehensive design tools as well as tracking tools to keep track of their traffic. More experienced users will need features to allow them to code their pages from scratch. Some blog hosts provide a directory in which to list your blog, while others offer the convenience of submitting your blog to search engines or blog directories for you.
Keep in mind what you want to use your blog for when you select a blog host. The basic templates provided by the free blogging hosts are minimally customizable but are attractive enough for personal blogs. If you plan on creating a business blog and need to upload your company's logo to design your own page, then look for a service with full customization of the blog's look and feel, as well as with a facility to easily upload files. As blogs are meant to be updated frequently, adding new content should be straightforward and quick.
If you plan on monetizing your blog using Google AdSense or through affiliate links, first check that the blog host allows this, as some of the free ones do not. Not all blog service packages allow for the blog owner to create polls and surveys within the blog, and others are not equipped to handle embedded audio or video files. Comment monitoring is also helpful to avoid spam. As blogs are often graphics-intense, check any limitations on the size of images and videos you can include in your posts. Ensure that the followers of your blog are able to receive updates through RSS feeds. For blogs that provide different levels of information to different readers, various privacy settings are a must; ensure that your blog service provider can handle public, private and protected settings. Give some thought to how you want your blog to develop and select a blog host that can grow with your web creativity.