Blog software, also known as blogware or weblog software, is the software that is used to set up, customize and maintain weblogs or blogs. It supports content and image management, content publication, comment moderation and content syndication. Blogging software can be of the hosted type, the server model type or a hybrid of both.
Hosted blogging software means blog software that does not need to be hosted by users on their own websites. It is usually free and the hosting company is responsible for content storage and database maintenance. All blogs are stored on the company's central server.
Aside from being free, hosted blog software is also easy to use. The users need only create a personal blog account, customize the blog to their requirements and start making entries. Customization can be a simple matter of selecting or moving around a given number of features, or of using some basic HTML and CSS. This accounts for the general popularity of hosted blogging software, especially with people new to blogging.
The free blog software has limited features, however, and users are offered a choice of a paid upgrade. Upgraded features have more customization and compatibility options. You can personalize the blog to your own taste instead of tweaking generic templates.
Server model software is blog software that users can host on their own websites. It is not free, since users have to pay the hosting charges. The software usually needs to be downloaded and installed on the user's web server system. This can be Linux-based or Windows-based.
The blog can have a customized domain name. Blogs hosted on server models can have unlimited bandwidth and no content restriction. Content on hosted blogs is usually subject to the host company's policies.
Experienced bloggers with sufficient knowledge of programming, software installation and database maintenance usually go for the server type model. There is enough information online, along with detailed tutorials, to make this option feasible to newcomers as well. Customer service help is also usually available.
A number of blogging applications can be used with both hosted or server model blogs. These include applications for calendars, tag clouds, RSS feeds, blog traffic statistics, spam filters and post sharing options. Users can add different kinds of functional widgets for clocks, news, books, music, photographs and so on.
Blogger, LiveJournal and Typepad are some popular and free hosted blogging services. Blogger also has a free hybrid model that can be hosted on the user's domain, keeping the server code on the company's server. Server blogging services include WordPress and Movable Type.