5 tools to help you set up a website or blog

A computer sitting on the tableA website or blog can help you spread the word about your dialogues, post pictures and stories from your events, and share your success with your community and potential funders.

Here are examples of programs that have a website or blog:

The task of setting up and maintaining a website can seem daunting, but these tools will have you reaching out to your community in no time. These options will link you to a world full of preexisting templates to help you get started:

1. Facebook

This is an easy alternative to setting up an entire blog or website to send information and updates to community members. While you do need your own personal Facebook account to set up a page for your project, people visiting your page don’t have to be on Facebook to see your content. Facebook also provides free analytics so you can track your activity.   


2. Tumblr

This blogging platform allows you to add text, photo, quotes, links, audio or video to your blog. These options are laid out clearly at the top of your “dashboard.” There are simple customizable templates available through Tumblr or with a quick Google search, you can find external codes to copy and paste, giving your Tumblr a unique look.


3. Blogger

This blogging platform provides more control over the look of your blog with easy-to-use buttons to edit your site and avoid a “cookie-cutter” feel. If you click the “stats” tab you can use Blogger’s tracking feature to see how many people viewed your posts. Blogger is owned by Google, so exporting content to Google supported sites is easy (Picasa, Google+, YouTube, etc.). If you’re feeling lost, follow Blogger Buzz, a blog about Blogger with tips and new features by those who work behind the scenes. This will help you get the most out of this completely free tool.


4. WordPress

WordPress offers two options: and is easier to use and requires less technological knowledge. It hosts the website for you so all you need to do is focus on the content of your website or blog (much like Tumblr and Blogger). Although WordPress has a lot of great features, they sometimes host distracting ads that can be eliminated for a $30/year fee. is free software you can install to craft a website or blog and manage it independently. With this option you’ll need a website host but you can create your own themes, install plug-ins and perform maintenance yourself. This option is suitable for more tech-savvy people who are familiar with website coding. If technology isn’t your specialty, choose for premade themes and features with clear options laid out on your dashboard.


5. Weebly

This website tool offers a sleek, modern design with an easy-to-use “drag and drop” blueprint. They have many free designs to choose from, simple editing tools, a basic blog feature, and their sites are mobile-friendly without any extra work on your end. This is a great option if you want to set up a website with a professional look and minimal hassle. Weebly has a free option with a small link to Weebly at the bottom of your site. For less than $5/month you can remove the ad from your site and connect your own domain.

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Connecticut Civic Ambassadors are everyday people who care about and engage others in their communities by creating opportunities for civic participation that strengthens our state’s "civic health."

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