It has come to my attention on more than one occasion of late that many people still do not understand what a blog really is and how it differs from other websites. Technically speaking, anywhere you visit on the World Wide Web is a website, including blogs. But countless websites that can be found are definitely not blogs. I know it must sound confusing. I’ll do my best to explain ...
Let’s start with the blog. You have to think of a blog as a type of website. The word, “blog,” is actually short for, “web log.” The name stems from a format of posts or entries that appear in reverse-chronological order, hence, a log of sorts. Anyone can start a blog for free, although several people pay for blog design, their own domain name, etc. You may recognize two of the most popular platforms, Blogspot.com and Wordpress.com. Both of these platforms offer a user-friendly interface that most beginners can get the hang of. And, more advanced users can add some of their own custom HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to make their blog really stand out.
Although people decide to start a blog for any number of reasons, most are personal in nature. Whether to keep friends and family informed (i.e. http://ourlifewithjake.blogspot.com), to share an opinion or give commentary on a particular topic of interest (i.e. http://www.moneysavingmomcanada.com), the basic “web log” format is always the same. Newer posts appear at the top of the page while older posts are archived somewhere else on the blog. Most bloggers, as they re known, will make frequent posts to their blogs, add photos, videos, and even welcome visitors to make comments. Some bloggers have become so popular with their content that they have been able to monetize their blogs with great success by selling ad space, giving reviews, etc. I should also note that people do, indeed, start their blogs in an effort to earn money in the first place and look at their blog as a business. While other business owners will start a blog to enhance an already existing business.
Now, onto regular old websites. Websites require a domain name, as well as hosting. A good example of a company that will provide both is, GoDaddy.com. Websites are created completely out of code, usually HTML. Often times other types of code are included as well, but we don’t really need to go over them for the purpose of this article. For someone to start and maintain their own website, they need to have a decent understanding of HTML, transferring files to a server, or hire someone who does. Although, there are loads of helpful programs available to beginners known as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. Either way, the website will be more involved and distinctive to whoever builds it. There are any number of custom layouts that can be implemented. Whether to brand a particular product, open a new business, start a non-profit, or just because, these websites will be totally unique in how they display content. There is usually some type of navigation bar as well, allowing visitors to browse different areas, topics, and categories of the site in an organized manner. Keyword optimization is often a major factor along with knowledge of “meta” tags. Where blogs can sometimes feel scattered and older information harder to find, your average website will generally be easy to navigate and find the particular information or product you are looking for any time you want to see it. Bottom line, websites, at least the more robust ones, are a lot more work to build and maintain than your average blog and formats vary greatly.
I have built and maintained both of my websites, Twin-Pregnancy-And-Beyond.com and TrendsInTwos.com. One is an informational website and the other a web based boutique. I m proud of them. When someone refers to one of my websites as a blog I get frustrated, but understand that some people simply don t recognize the difference. It’s not that I feel blogs to be inferior to websites (some of my best friends run fabulous blogs and I even have one of my own attached to my sites) just that they are different.
Originally published on Twin Pregnancy And Beyond