Do you know what’s the difference between a website and a blog? While a blog is simply a type of website, both of them work differently and hence, are used for different purposes. Deciding which one to use depends on what you want to achieve.
Today, it is common to find companies integrating a blog as an integral part of their website, maintaining different roles on a single domain.
So, what is the difference between a blog and a website?
In this article, I will explain what a website is and what makes a website a blog. Also, I will show you how to combine a website and a blog.
Getting to Know the Basics: A Website
A website is a collection of directories where you can find a set of web pages that contain information accessible online.
Every time you type in a URL into your browser’s address bar, you will be visiting a website. Simply put, a website is anything you visit on the internet. That being said, a “website” is used as a broad and more general term.
Today, there are more than 1.5 billion websites online that are divided into static and dynamic websites.
Static websites are the ones that display the same content to each visitor. These are mostly classic websites that are written in simple code. The cost of building this kind of website is usually low and the setup process is relatively simple.
A great example of a modern static website is Airbnb Cereal.On the other hand, dynamic websites rely on database-backed processes and require server-side programming languages like PHP. This kind of website provides dynamic content for each visitor, meaning that the content a visitor sees depends on their interactions with the site. Dynamic websites are easier to update and cheaper to manage in the long run.
What Makes a Website Become a Blog?
As previously mentioned, all blogs are websites, but not all websites are blogs. To get a better understanding, below are a few characteristics of a blog.
A blog is a dynamic website with regularly updated content called posts. You can easily recognize a blog when you see content arranged in reverse chronological order. A blog allows visitors to always see the newest posts first.
Updated regularly, a blog is more favored by search engines. Google’s indexing system (Caffeine) promotes fresher content first. That is why you are likely to find blogs at the top positions of the SERP (search engine result page).
A blog typically encourages user interaction more than a website does. This is most often done with the comment section. The feature allows visitors to leave feedback after reading an article. Not only is this a good way to build engagement but such interactions helps your SEO effort too. This is one of the reasons why integrating a blog into a website is a great idea.
Tags and Categories
While most websites handle navigation using a main menu at the top of a page, blogs use categories and tags.
When organizing blog posts, setting categories is highly recommended because it helps group posts in a convenient way, while using tags is optional, but adds specific details about your posts. For example, if you have a mobile tech blog, you can have a How-To category and an iPhone X tag.
Today, blogs have evolved from the old-school scrollable pages filled with content to stunningly designed, complex pages. Through advanced customization and sophisticated coding, different layouts can be applied to make a blog stand.
Here are three amazing blogs that will give a great first impression:
Mikiya is a portfolio blog that showcases furniture design work brilliantly. While you will only see an image in this minimalist design blog at first, once you scroll down, it shows you a charming gallery of Mikiya Kobayashi’s work along with subtle effect animation.
- Squarespace Blog
Squarespace’s blog shows how an astonishing design can be applied to a blog. Using a two-column layout, all content is presented on the right-hand side, which is interactive. If you browse for more articles, it will show the list on the left-hand side.
- Grammarly Blog
In line with its brand’s goal, Grammarly’s blog brings up a clean and minimalist design combined with awesome typography. This design allows readers to enjoy content more comfortably. Not only that, this blog organizes their categories in an easy to understand way (Howto, Grammar Tips, Trends, and Inspiration) allowing visitors to easily browse their favorite topics.
Combining The Two
If you run a business, you can manage your blog and main website under separate domains. However, this will hinder you from getting the benefits of the integration of a blog and a website together.
As previously mentioned, it is a common practice for companies to combine their official website and blog. For example, Hostinger has a blog and a blog-like tutorial site, meanwhile, Pinterest has the Pinterest Newsroom.
Before we go on with the benefits of combining the two, you need to know what integration means in this context. If you separate a website and a blog, you will use two different domains for each. For example, if you use mycompany.com as your main website and mycompanyblog.com as your official blog.
Let’s get a better understanding of why integration is better:
Improved Organic Traffic
Again, search engines love fresh content. The more you post valuable content regularly, the better your chances of ranking higher on SERP. This will give you not only more organic traffic but also better traffic — up to 111%.
Furthermore, when a website and a blog are integrated, any links that attract visitors, either from a blog or main website, would benefit the same domain. Hence, it will help improve SEO.
As a dynamic website, a blog not only lets you post relevant, valuable content to your visitors, but it also allows them to leave comments and subscribe to your articles. This is an effective way to build engagement.
And, as 23% of profit and revenue comes from engaged customers, integrating a blog into a website is worth doing.
Using a blog to create brand awareness is a good idea too, especially if you invest in content marketing strategies.
By providing valuable content that your customers can benefit from, you will be considered as an expert of a niche. Reports say that 59% of customers will buy from the brand they know well.
How Do You Start with Both?
First of all, you need to purchase web hosting and a domain name to create a website. Most hosting providers have both.
After that, you need to choose a Content Management System (CMS) as this will help you build a modern, dynamic website. By using a Content Management System (CMS), you can start blogging without coding skills, create new content effortlessly, and customize your site easily.
Among popular platforms are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. While each platform has their own positives, I recommend WordPress because it has better user management, community support, and customization through themes and plugins.
I bet you are not confused by the terms website and blog anymore. A website is used as a much broader term while a blog is a type of website.
You can identify a blog from its characteristics such as regularly updated content, visitor interaction, and the use of tags and categories.
While you can use a blog and a website separately for your online business, it is not recommended. You will gain more benefits by integrating the two under a single domain. You’ll get better traffic, engagement, and improve branding.
So, now that the fog has been lifted, and the difference between a website and a blog is clear, you can start building and improve your online presence!