Twice recently, I’ve been directed to websites that were blogs and when I told the people who had directed me that the sites were blogs, they asked what the difference was. So here you go:
Blogs (a corruption–or abbreviation–of “web log”) began as online diaries available to the public and free or cheap to create, primarily via www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com or www.typepad.com. They have morphed into fairly easy ways to have a website that one can update oneself, providing one is not afraid of technology. If you’re one of those, hire me.
So – the difference between a website and a blog is none–as far as your visitor is concerned.
However, a blog is built much differently than websites were originally built and it’s worth understanding the difference if you have website or need one redone.
- A traditional web site is one where the designer can create the web site on her computer, and each page is a separate file that she then uploads to the server that hosts the site. If you’ve ever used Word, think of it as similar to creating Word documents. You can open them in Word whether you’re online or not.
- A blog, however, is created almost entirely online. It consists of a database and some commands. It is hosted and there is a login page where you administer it, i.e. define the pages or post articles or approve comments, etc. With a blog, when someone requests a page, the blog has language that pulls the pertinent data from various tables in the database and “builds” the web page you requested in a matter of nanoseconds. Isn’t technology amazing?
So, the big question is: Should you care?
If you want to update information on your website yourself, whether it’s an e-commerce site or not, then blogs will work just fine as long as you understand there are some constraints as far as formatting and features (unless you’re rich and love to spend money–in which case, call me immediately because I have yet to meet such a person).
If you don’t care diddly squat about technology or you know, in your heart of hearts, that you will never ever log in to update your website/blog yourself, then leave it to your web designer to decide which type of site will best meet your needs. If they are worth their salt, they will make the decison based on your needs.
My philosophy (get ready…sales pitch coming!) is that if you don’t do well, I won’t do well. My goal is to build a site you like, that gets found and gets visitors who don’t complain about it being hard to navigate. Everything else (your products or services) is up to you.