Do You Need a Blog or Website?
Do you need a blog or website for your business? You know you want a solid online presence, and suddenly you’re faced with this decision. Do you choose a blog or a website? How do you figure out which one you need? Or do you choose both?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock we all know what a website is. Simply put, it is a combination of text, images, and/or video designed to inform and entertain its visitors. A blog is similar to a website, but it is constructed in the format of an online journal. A blog allows you to add regular updates for your visitors/readers.
Here are some of the pros and cons of building a website compared to starting a blog.
How does a website compare to a blog in terms of navigation?
When you build a website the navigation is often linked through a menu at the top, side or bottom of its pages. It has a main index page which is referred to as the homepage. The homepage is usually a static page that lists information about the business or venture, and perhaps has links to stories, articles or other pages about the business.
When you start a blog it is usually navigated through links to the previous or next entries. These are shown either at the start or end of each post or in the blog’s sidebar. The sidebar contains customizable navigation links like Pages, About, Archives etc. It may also include links to your previous posts organized by post dates. A “Categories” segment is also usually a mainstay of the sidebar, and you will often find a blog roll or a list of external links to related content included as well.
How does a website compare versus a blog in terms of the ability to update?
A website usually presents static content that you have to update manually. It is possible to link to a news page or RSS feed that will refresh the information on your webpage, but this requires programming knowledge to make it work effectively. When you build a website, you either have to learn HTML or how to use what is referred to as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor to update them. Most business owners do not have the time to spend on building a website, so they outsource the job to a web designer.
When it comes to setting up a blog most of the programming is already done for you. Blogs are built with a content management system that makes adding content easier by simply logging into your control panel, writing your post and clicking publish. Another great thing about setting up a blog is the wide variety of templates available that make customizing the look and feel of your pages much easier without any programming knowledge. Premium templates exist that are designed to already have the look you want for your business sector and are available for a relatively small investment.
How does a website compare to a blog in terms of web usability?
When it comes to the usability of a blog it may not differ that much from a website in the eyes of your visitor. However, when it comes to updating and maintaining your blog you may find it relatively easy to do, especially with all the ready
made templates, plugins and widgets that are available. There are basically no programming skills required to update your blog. This may save you money in the long run over time, especially if your website would require frequent updates.
How does a website compare to a blog in terms of visitor interaction?
If you’ve visited a blog lately you may have noticed that they have a built-in feature where your readers can easily leave a comment to any post after reading it. You can also set your blog to allow comments on pages. This is useful if you add static pages of information to your blog. This makes it easy for you “the author” of the blog to interact with your visitors. This isn’t quite the case with a website. Although it usually has a “Contact Us” page where you can have your visitor send you a note it does not have the same interactive feel and ease that a blog does.
Now it’s time to decide. Do you build the website or do you start a blog? Or do you need both? Ultimately the decision is up to you. Do you plan on offering information that does not require regular updating? If so, a website may be just what you need. But if you plan on making frequent updates and want easy interaction with your readers a blog may be the best option for you.
Another option you may want to consider is that you may want to have both! I’m not saying this to confuse you. Just to let you know that with the proper set up a blog and a website can easily work hand in hand to help you accomplish your goals. Just something to think about!