You’ve heard people say they’ve got a blog. You’ve heard others say they have a website. What’s the difference? Or is there any? And which is right for you?
Let’s start with a little background information. In 1997 the term ‘weblog’ was coined, attributed to Jorn Barger who “logged the web’ as he browsed. Within a few years it was shortened to ‘blog’ and blogs have become steadily more popular ever since.
Websites have been around since 1991 when text-only pages could be viewed. Now a website is defined by Wikipedia as “web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server.”
Alright, now let’s get down to it.
How is a blog different than a website?
First, let’s talk about the general characteristics of each, starting with a blog. On a typical blog you will find content organized primarily by posts and those posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order (with newest first.) Blogs are normally owned and kept current by an individual or small group of people. In many cases comments about the blog post are accepted and therefore a blog is considered interactive, with the reader being able to subscribe to receive updates of future posts.
Also a blog is updated more frequently than a website as its built on a Content Management System, however can contain pages that are not updated as often. But because a blog contains posts that are updated frequently, they are easily searchable and therefore more likely to be found by search engines than a website alone.
Next, a little about the characteristics of a website. A website is organized by pages, such as Home, About, and Contact (and at one time were built with HTML, CSS and other computer languages.) These pages are more static in nature, meaning the content doesn’t need to be updated very frequently, although for a business, one of the pages may be a blog page and kept up to date more frequently than any of the other pages on the website. Websites can be owned by an individual or small group, but most often are owned for business purposes, like a virtual store or more communicative in nature. In general a website does not accept comments and therefore isn’t seen as interactive.
So basically, a blog is considered dynamic and interactive,
while a website is considered static and evergreencontent that is always relevant.
A blog can be a website when it also has additional pages such as contact and about pages. But not all websites are blogs. Because a lot of businesses have a blog component, too, many business websites are built on WordPress.org, which is a Content Management System, a website tool that makes it easier to update websites than doing so via HTML.
Phew, are you still with me? Another way to think about it is blogs are good for organizing ongoing thoughts and ideas and establishing your authority or area of expertise and websites are good for being a consistent way to show potential clients what you have to offer.
So which is better for you? Blog or Website?
Well, that depends. What are your goals for getting online?
Do you want to share thoughts and ideas? Will you have more thoughts and ideas to share? If yes, consider a blog.
Do you want to create a place online to share your service packages, products and expertise? If yes, consider a website.
Will you only be sharing thoughts and ideas, needing a place to interact with others with the same interests or those coming to learn from you? If yes, consider a blog.
Will you want to share thoughts and ideas, interact with your audience and offer services or products? Consider a website with a blog!
Which is best for you…Blog or Website?
Having a website with rather static pages that convey your consistent information with a blog page that creates a place to regularly communicate and potentially interact with your reader may be just the ticket to grow your business online.
Where to start?
There are benefits to starting both a website and blog on WordPress.org. As already mentioned, its a CMS, which means your site will be easy to update. It’s also open source with many free (and premium) themes. This means the initial cost to someone wanting to DIY a website/blog will include a domain (a personalized address/url for your site), and hosting (where your site files will live). I’ll talk about all of this in another post.
Before running out and purchasing a domain and hosting, think about what you’d like to accomplish by getting online. You can start either rather simply with just one or two pages to start. Write out your ideas about what you might need…your general ideas for posts if you want a blog. Look at a few websites of people/businesses similar to your area of expertise and get an idea of what information they have on their websites. You’ll likely need something similar.
You may be saying, ‘This all sounds great, but how do I really plan out this website?’ Head over here to sign up to my email list and get started thinking through all the basic foundational stuff with my free Basic Content Planner! Once you go through this you’ll know better whether you have your ducks in a row to get started and will be well on your way, or will be prompted to get everything organized to get started!