Custom website - Personal blog

I want to make a website that has a left panel that is categorical and a top panel that has links A-Z and a search box at the top right corner.
This website is for personal use to organize blog posts and different topics I research. It’ll serve somewhat as a personal encyclopedia.
By tagging each post with a subject I want it to automatically organize both categorically and alphabetically.
I’ve used googlesites, blogger, wordpress and tried joomla but I don’t know if they allow this type of customization. I purchased the domain from google. I guess I’d be ok with it looking like Blogger’s “Dynamic View” template if it also had the left and top panel I mentioned.
Does anyone know how I can do this? I don’t have much webdesign experience.

I don’t know about Google but certainly WordPress can do that and more. You simply need two queries with the proper parameters.

Queries and parameters?

Any of the systems you mentioned will work. However, if you’re not a designer or programmer some may be more difficult to accomplish what you want without outside help. Given your requirements I would actually recommend Drupal because it caters the best to site builders and providing tools for people with little to no knowledge of web development and/or designing to build complete, feature rich websites. Wordpress doesn’t really offer this out of the box. If you want to make a WP site act like anything other than a blog it requires dev and design most of the time unless you can find a distribution or plugin that does exactly what you want. However, with Drupal it is possible to build out any website purely through the admin. This is especially true with Drupal 8 which is in beta and is probably one of the most powerful open source CMS’s providing the ability to build complete sites without any design or development work. There are also hosted solutions so you don’t have to worry about set-up on your own server. Drupal does however have a large learning curve but that is only because it is so powerful and flexible.

I’ll look into Drupal and get over the learning curve when I’m done with school. How much would I end up paying for a host, for a simple personal blog?
I just saw an advertisement for The Grid $96/year
Have you guys heard about this? If I had an ecommerce site maybe it would be worth it.

Seems to be a way off yet, and there are other things of a similar nature out there already, such as SquareSpace—which has a pretty low monthly cost for a simple site and makes it pretty easy to add the components you need without requiring you to be an experienced web designer.

I have no idea how to add the components I want. It doesn’t seem easy to me. It should be. The features I want aren’t too complex. I’ve emailed wordpress and squarespace.

@oddz In my opinion, Drupal has a tougher learning curve than WP and to do what he wants he will need to change the desing himself anyway.

I haven’t seen any template that has both alphabetical and categories classification on the same page.

@jj3300 I’m rethinking the links at the top in alphabetical order… if those links are to articles, that can get crowded soon … although, Of course, you can limit the amount of links. But if the title of the articles is long, not sure how that could look.

Anyway, any of the systems mentioned before (WP, Drupal and many other popular Content Management Systems) use a database to save all the information (from menus to the text and the pictures in an article).

Therefore, you’ll need to query the database to read the information.

Not everybody is a programmer (and many designers don’t know how to program) so some systems provide a way to add functionality (and often querying the database) without needing to code (and that means that the user doesn’t know when he’s querying the database or not)

@Oddz is right to say that, if you go for the WP route, you’ll need to learn a bit about how it works and how to change a template. It is easy but it may force you to understand what’s behind a website and the technologies used.

But then, if you use blogger, or any other system, you may face the same problem too. I don’t know how much blogger changed since the last time I used it (year ago) but it was a pain to do something that wasn’t already done on a template

You may very well choose SquareSpace or anything else, you’re doomed to do some learning, especially because what you want is not in any template in the market

This can be accomplished easily with views and filters. In Drupal 8 you might be able to get away achieving it without any extra modules but in <8 views will be necessary unless creating a custom module yourself.