More often than you can imagine, a lot of people don’t even know the difference between a blog and a website. If you are thinking of starting one or both of the two, read till the end to find out why you might need to start a blog instead of a website or website instead of a blog

What is a Blog?

A blog is a type of website. It is just like saying all oranges are fruits but not all fruits are oranges: a blog is a type of website but not all websites are blogs.

Anyways, a blog is a type of website where the content is presented in such a way that the newer posts come first (reverse chronological order). Its main aim is to present individual blog posts or entries in such a way that the most recent entry is at the top of the homepage. Blogs are primarily text-based, that is, the focus is on the words rather than the visuals. A blog is usually run by a person or a small group of people in a conversational style. It is usually more personal and less official than a website.

What is a Website?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a website is a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organisation. These linked webpages always share a unique domain name and are published on at least one web server. The main aim of a website is to provide useful information to audiences or visitors.

A Brief History of Blogs

Blogs were birthed in the ‘90s from online diaries and journals. By this time, internet users already had personal web pages where they regularly issued updates about their thoughts, personal lives, and social commentaries.

By the late ‘90s, the term ‘web log’ was already in use, it later evolved into ‘weblog’, then ‘we blog’ until it finally just became known as ‘blogs’. Because of the growing popularity of owning personal web pages more tools started to be introduced which made creating and maintaining these pages easier.

Blogger.com which was launched in 1999, was the first real blogging platform. It was then bought by Google in February 2003. However, WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform now. It powers more than 41% of websites on the whole internet platform. Its open-source software is the first blogging software that allows users and developers to manipulate the code, making their websites exceptional.

The Birth of Websites

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He created it to provide a solution to solve the demand for automated information sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. By 1990, he had also created HTML (HyperText Markup Language), URL, and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). With all these, he created the first website which became available on the internet in 1991.

The first website ever was a page on how users could set up a webserver to create their websites and web pages. The first set of websites was static; users could only request the webpage and view it in the browser. Since then, the growth of websites has evolved and is still evolving to date.

The Major Differences Between a Blog and a Website

Websites have a static appearance, blogs do not. While a blog is a type of website in which the contents are not static but are updated regularly in reverse chronological order, typical websites are static and are not updated frequently. Static pages are one-off type contents such as your contact page, your about page, product or services landing page, and so on.

Blogs don’t have professional-looking content like websites do. A website’s content is written formally and professionally. Whereas, a blog’s content on the other hand is written informally the majority of the time, depending on the author. Blogs encourage conversation, so writing in a semi-formal or informal way is the way of achieving this. This is why blogs have a commenting system. Also, more often than not, you know who is behind the blog.

There is a difference in the purpose of the content of blogs and websites. The content of a website is usually written for business or commercial purposes; about a product, service, or industry. A blog on the other hand is usually written for engagement purposes; for information, education, fun, or even no reason at all. Content is the only purpose of a blog and this content aims to engage with the reader.

Blogs also have more content as opposed to websites. This is why blogs require an ongoing time commitment. Since the goal of a blog is to publish content, it has to be more frequently updated than a website requires. Blogs organise the contents in different ways; they can be grouped into categories and tags can also be made use of. A website does not need categorization because they don’t have that much content in the first place.

How to Decide if You Need a Website or a Blog

The truthful answer to this is that it depends on your end goals; what you want to achieve.

Recently, the boundary between a website and a blog is a very thin line. Because blogs are proven to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO), more and more businesses are realizing the potential of a blog in their overall marketing strategy. Modern tools have made it possible to have the two at the same time, so as a result, most business owners are adding a separate blog section to their websites. The advantage of this is that it directs more traffic to their websites and it is also easier to advertise their business on social media.

Recently, we have also seen cases of an individual writing a topic on their blog and selling online courses alongside using a website or adding a link to sell something else (affiliate marketing). We see official news websites also having a commenting system on their websites to engage their readers.

With modern technology, now anything is possible. Why pick having a website over a blog or having a blog over a website, when you can have the two at the same time? Having said this, I would suggest you consider your goals for the long term and pick the most suitable option. A website or a blog or a merging of the two.

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