More and more private individuals and businesses are starting their own blogs or websites. But what is the difference between the two? Is there even any difference between them? At the beginning, it wasn’t clear to me either whether blogs and websites were the same or not. Still, if you have unanswered questions about the subject, then your time has come! Read on, and get rid of all question marks in just a few minutes.
Today I know what makes a blog different from a website. But I will never forget what a tangled chain of information was in my head at the beginning. I remembered these exact memories when I decided to try and answer the most fundamental questions in this article.
Before writing this article, I sat down to talk to 5 people who I know wasn’t feeling at home in the technical world and internet itself. I chose them, because I wanted to have the best insight on the thoughts average people might have about blogging. The “interviewing” was very informative. I got a lot of questions I wouldn’t have thought in my dreams that they might have on this subject. However, that was the case in reality. So I’ll reassure you: it’s not a problem at all if you can’t understand the difference between a blog and a website. This is surely not an obvious thing, but we will put everything in its place.
What’s a blog?
You first meet with a blog by browsing the internet. You just open a link on an interesting topic, and then you suddenly realise that hours have gone by…
Because if you find a really good blog for yourself, it sucks you in completely. Even if you didn’t want to get stuck there for so long. You just read this one article, add a comment to the mandatory comment war, downloaded this one recipe, saved the whole site to your favourites, and before you stand up from your computer after spending multiple hours browsing the internet, you also subscribe to this one newsletter to make sure you never miss any updates.
Sounds familiar? It’s because you fall in love with a blog sooner than you start wondering about what made it so enchanting.
What can a blog be about?
A blog is usually built around 1-2 topics. This can be like fittness, food, football, cars, marketing, fashion and so on. The list is pretty much infinite. You can find at least one (or more) blog, no matter how special your interests are. The subject is most of the time also reflected from the design of the blog, however it can also be summarised in an introduction. Also, each article can be categorised separately. If you start talking to someone about blogs, both of you will see your own favourites in front of you. These can be fashion blogs, gastro blogs – or anything else that’s about a hobby or a topic that’s close to you.
The other thing that will come to your mind, is how much you enjoyed the style of the writer. You not only liked what he was talking about, but even the way he was talking about it. The best thing about it was, that you had a feeling like he was talking directly to you. As if you two were sitting at the same table in your favourite coffee shop, and he was just telling you this story.
Who can have a blog?
The owner of a blog can be a single person, but it can also be edited by more people at the same time. Then, it is up to them to split up the topics between them so everyone can write about their own interests. The style of the writers can also differ from each other.
Average people can blog too. You don’t have to be a professional writer or a journalist. The authenticity of your personality is fortunately not dependent on education. (But if you want, you can write under a pseudonym.)
What type of content can be in a blog?
A blog primarily displays content in the forms of entries and articles. This is exactly why you spend so much time in front of it. Reading is indeed time consuming. However, the more time you spend on a particular page, the more you commit to it, and you will find your author more and more sympathetic. To keep reading from being too boring, blogs don’t only include text, but photos and videos too. However, the proportions tend to be in the favor of text. (For blogging in the forms of photos and videos, Instagram and YouTube are better platforms.) It doesn’t matter if you just sit down for 5 minutes at your computer just to check on your favourites, the good quality content sucks you in completely, immediately.
How often do articles get published?
Usually the most recent story is displayed at the top of a blog page, followed by older articles going downwards. Posts not only have their authors and thematic categories, but also their dates, so you can see when the blog’s content was last updated. Since a well-functioning blog keeps showing new articles, a blog will only look the same for a very short time. Since the content is constantly changing, technically, we can refer to a blog as a “dynamic” website.
Can you post comments to articles?
Blog posts can usually be commented on based on your thoughts about the article itself. It’s up to you to decide if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity. In rare cases, bloggers sometimes turn this option off for topics that are really hot.
What’s a website?
There is a home page, an introduction, contact information and maybe even some sort of ordering option. It all looked the same even two years ago. These pages are commonly referred to as static pages, because the content on them (text, images, videos) either does not, or they rarely change.
You have probably seen that there can be blog posts on a website (alongside with many other different sub-pages). The question is right, so what’s going on? I thought a blog and a website were two different things? What?
“Every blog is on a website, but not all websites have blogs…”
A website’s huge advantage, is that it can consist of static pages (like About us, Contact and Services) AND dynamic pages, which can also be blogs.
It is also common, that a website just consists of static pages. Maybe the owner does not want to publish blog posts or share information. (Or, maybe they just don’t have friends in the online marketing sphere who could convince them.)
Even if you want to write a blog, it does not mean that you have to “be full” with a blog. You can have some of both worlds.
Website and blog titles
Websites have a very important common feature. They have an address, that you can use to access them on the web, by typing it into the browser’s address bar. This is what’s called a domain name.
These are domain names:
These domains all cover a website. The average titles of websites look like carrental.com or london.com, so they have a prefix and an ending (.com, .co.uk, .eu, etc.).
Though, this may be different to some of your favourite blogs. With blogs, it can happen that you find yourself looking at domains like:
This solution may appear on blogs because you do not have to create your own website for simple blogging – nor do you have to register your own domain.
You can start your own blog on different platforms, some of which are completely free. However, the price of free is that you will not have your own domain name, but the name of the platform (main site) will appear in the address of your page.
So how can I create a blog or a website?
If you just want to start blogging for fun or as a hobby, most likely you will be fine with some of the free options. If blogging came closer to your heart by time and you feel like you “outgrown” it, you will still have the option to switch to a professional solution (though, this is not always smooth…).
These will be the best for you, if you don’t want anything other than start writing for free.
Since these are free, they have many disadvantages in exchange, such as:
- You will not be able to very much personalise the overall look of your blog.
- It is hard to develop and add extra features to your blog.
- It will be hard later to change to a professional system.
- Because of the site’s Terms & Conditions, you can’t share whatever content you’d like.
- The ways of earning revenue is limited.
- Content hosted on a free blog will never really be yours.
- Your domain name will be ugly and amateur, for example:
There are lots of disadvantages, however if a professional blog does not fit in your budget, it’s better if you go the free route, and later you can still see if it’s possible for you to upgrade or not.
Content Management Systems – WordPress
The WordPress I’m talking about is a Content Management System. In this CMS, more than 27% of the websites available today are made. No other similar system has such a big slice of the cake.
This is because you can create everything from simple blogs to the most advanced websites with WordPress, all this, without requiring programming skills.
Since this is a content management system, WordPress can handle dynamic blog posts alongside static pages. You can create beautiful and completely customised blog pages, with the option to add as many other pages as you’d like. No limitations.
What’s also very good, is that if you outgrow the blog you started at first, you can easily upgrade it to a website with which you can sell products, services, collect e-mail subscribers, and with the help of its plugins, you can basically create anything you’ve imagined.
If you feel like, that the blog of your dreams deserves to be just as you’ve imagined, and you don’t want to close the gates towards your future development, then you are well worth to get closer to WordPress and get to know it better as a Content Management System.