September 20, 2011

Is my site a proper website or a blog?

'Blogs' are a sub-set of 'websites'

Blogs and traditional websites are
subsets of the web world
Websites have been in existence since the advent of the World Wide Web, and blogs came much later. The early blogs were true to their literary meaning – web log or web diary – but slowly they turned into full-fledged websites. Over time, the difference between a website and a blog has blurred to the extent that they look the same. The saying that was popular once – that a website is static while a blog is updated - does not hold good anymore.

Technically speaking, blogs are a subset of web spaces or websites. In this assumption, all blogs are websites but not all websites are blogs. Loosely speaking, you can call a website with blogging features as a blog and a blog with lots of other content than posts as a website.

Both blogs and other websites have a homepage and a number of other pages. Site designing these days does not require writing each line of code, and a large number of ready-made templates and what-you-see-is-what-you-get [WYSIWYG] programs are available to create any type of website with numerous features. External codes in the form of widgets / gadgets are available that can be fitted into almost any design. Blogging platforms give this functionality through their ‘design’ option. So, the end result of designing whether doing it through Wordpress / Blogger or ab initio in a web-designing software might look the same.

However, big sites / portals, business sites and sites needing online transactions have structures that blogs cannot [and need not] have.

Blogs have some distinctive features that websites, especially those maintaining old characteristics of websites, do not possess. If your site has the following features, it is more likely a blog:
Not necessarily, but generally, if a site URL shows that it is part of a blogging platform [e.g.], it is a blog. But a blog need not have such an identity [e.g.]

If a site is maintained in the form of a diary in which posts are written periodically and are arranged reverse-chronologically, it is a blog. If a site allows commenting on posts, it is further into the blog mold.

If a site has widgets for current content, aggregation / grouping of content and interaction, it shifts towards being a blog.

If there is a main site with a sub-site that is called blog, it must be maintained as a blog that has the inherent quality of log-keeping, updating and interaction.

On the other hand if a site, even on Blogger / Wordpress platform, is maintained with lots of information but not in the form of periodically published ‘posts’ and not allowing interaction, it is a site not fit to be called a blog.

Is a blog less prestigious than a website?

Since most blogs are of personal nature and not always serious about their brand, people may take a blog and its owner less seriously. Another reason for people not taking blogger as seriously as a site-owner could be that most blogs are maintained free on blogging platforms while you need to pay hosting charges, etc to maintain independent sites.

Because of this, sites / blogs with names containing blogspot / wordpress / livejournal and other blogging ‘surnames’ score poorly as compared to sites and blogs with independent URLs. Blogs [or sites devoid of blogging features] with names of blogging platforms are said to be taken less seriously by search engines too! [In totality, however, blogs tend to get more search friendly because of their regular updating, comments etc.]

But some website owners prefer to call their websites as blogs, as it invites interaction and tells that the site will keep regularly updating the matter. In fact some of the most influential websites today are either true blogs (e.g. Huffington Post, ViperChill) or are updated like blogs (many sites of newspapers, magazines and television channels)!

The last point

If you are a non-corporate blogger, you can do whatever a simple website can do and much more. Just keep it in the best form [You can find a number of tips on Indian Top Blogs]. 

Do not pay huge sums just to have your website that needs technical knowledge for its maintenance and upgradation; use Blogger or Wordpress – the best available blogging platforms.

If you are in business, it is advisable [at present] to have a full-fledged website and a complementary blog and/or a social media page [e.g. Facebook]. Studies have found that websites with blog sections drive more page indexing on search engines, links and traffic.

You might also like to visit this post: How to have a Blogger blog that looks like a static website?