it's Monday again and time for my next blog post!
This time it's about another topic that I really wanted to address and write about as I get this question asked so many times from my clients. What is actually the difference between a website and a blog?
People get confused about this a lot and when I am working with a client and we mix the words blog and website all the time, there is bound to be confusion and misunderstandings. So today I want shed some light on this and explain the difference between a blog and a website to you.
Not only for the end-user but also for a website/blog owner. And I hope this will help you all and my future clients to have less misunderstandings.
What is a blog?
According to Wikipedia a blog comes from the word weblog and is a discussion or informal website published on the world wide web.
A blog is a site that is updated regularly and its content changes all the time. It's “posts” can be written articles or text or it can be just photos - or both of course.
I think a blog can actually be seen like a newspaper or a magazine, including a library, with the possibility for the reader to post comments immediately.
The content changes on a regular basis and posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order. New content appears on the top of the front page and old content moves down or even away from the first page. But it can still be found as it is stored in different categories and in the archives of the blog. All blog entries are stored in the archives according the year and month they were published. This is what I mean with library.
So as a user you get always fresh content and can revisit the site often to have something new to read or look at. And you can do some research and look for old content in different categories or in the archives.
And as a blogger or site owner you have to update your site regularly with new content. It is best to stay consistent with the timing of your posts, so your readers know when to expect something new. It is recommended to think about how often you will be able to post something new before you start your blog and then try and stick to this routine.
The articles in your blog are called posts. You can assign different categories to each of your blog posts so they will be found by your readers when they are not at the top of your home page anymore. You can also assign different tags to your articles so your readers can search your blog. And of course the posts will be stored in the archives.
Often on blogs you see the different categories in the menu bar on the top and the tags and a search function as well as archives on the side bar. In the sidebar you will mostly also see the bloggers picture and short profile. As a user you can find topics by selecting a category from the menu, clicking on one of the tags, using the search function or looking at different years or months by going through the archive.
A blog sometimes has more than one author. Usually the author is shown underneath the post entry and users can also search the site according to the author.
Also a major difference between a blog and a website is the possibility to leave comments underneath articles by the reader! Like that the readers can easily interact with each other and the author.
Having said all that, this can all be determined by the site owner, so you can define if you want to show categories, sub-categories, the author, tags, archives, have a search function and also if you want the possibility for readers to comment.
To sum it up the major characteristics of a blog are:
The newest blog entry is mostly on the first page and on the top. Older posts are sorted chronologically.
Blog posts are archived by categories, sub-categories, the author, tags, years and months.
There is the possibility to comment for readers.
The great thing about blogging is that your website is updated regularly and that means it is more google friendly as search engines like to see activity on a website. But I will write more about that in a different blog post later.
Blogs are usually build using a service like Wordpress, Squarespace or Blogger. It is up to your own preference what you as a writer like most and how you want your blog to look like.
This is an example of a blog I have designed for one of my clients and I think it shows the above mentioned points like categories, tags, archives, author and comment section very nicely: www.racinggiraffe.com
What is a website?
Well, a website contains mainly static content that will not change. Or it will only change when the owner updates it.
So a website usually represents a company. This is either done by informing their customers what they do and who they are or by selling products or services online.
A website typically has different pages that are shown in a menu at the top of the site. There can also be sub-pages and the user can find content by clicking on these pages.
Usually a website comprises of a homepage with a menu. The home page often also displays parts of the content of other pages. Like that the reader can easily see what there is to offer. It usually has a contact page, an about page with information about the company or the owner, and a page for the services or products that are offered as well as a terms and conditions page. Sometimes a frequently asked questions page and a client testimonial or feedback page can be found either as a separate page or somewhere on other pages.
Often a blog is also part of the website but it is not the main aspect. Many websites have a link to their blog from their homepage. A blog is a good opportunity for a company to give their customers or clients extra information but as I said earlier it is also good for visibility by search engines.
This is an example of a classic website I have designed for one of my clients recently: http://akemihoshi.com/ The content only changes when in this case the photographer decides to update her pictures.
Mix of a website and blog
Many of my customers actually want a mix between a website with static content and a blog which is updated regularly. This can of course also be done. But here we need to distinguish between pages and posts. The pages are static and the posts are the blog entries on this website. In this case the static pages are usually the about me and the contact page. In addition there are different categories where the posts will be shown. These categories are also in the menu bar and for the enduser there does not seem to be a difference. It is up to the owner wether the homepage will be a page for blog posts or a static page. It can also be a mix where the new blog posts will be shown on one designated part of the home page and the rest of the content stays the same.
Having a plan
Before you start a website or blog it is good make a plan. Think about what you actually want to achieve with your website. Once you have decided wether you want a website or a blog it is good to write down your sitemap and determine which pages and/or categories you would like to have. After that you will see how big your website will be and you can determine wether you want to hire someone who can program your website or use a free website building software like for example Wordpress and do it yourself or together with a web designer.
I hope that helps a little bit in understanding the difference between a blog and a website and helps you to determine what you would like to do!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Have a great day, Emilia
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