In this digital era where everything is being done online, online visibility is a vital aspect of a business, and every business owner should strive to have a great online presence. To achieve this, business owners usually make use of two main platforms: a website or a blog. However, due to the confusion faced by most people on their uses, most business owners end up using a website instead of a blog or a blog instead of a website. Below is a look at the difference between a blog and a website, and tips on how to decide the best platform to use.
What is a blog and what is a website?
Before deciding on whether to use a blog or a website, you must first understand both of the platforms. When defining a blog, you can refer to it as a series of content (posts) that are regularly posted online by an individual or a group of people, and which are written with the intention of informing the readers. The word blog is derived from the phrase “web logs”, as they were originally created as personal journals for online users. However, their use has since advanced, and people (including business owners) use them to share compelling topics and ideas with the readers, which helps to attract traffic and increase their online visibility.
A website on the other hand is an online location (that is accessed by a web address/url) where a series of web pages are maintained. These pages contain various types of information, which can include text, images, graphics, and multi-media files. The information contained on the web pages is formatted and presented to the users in an easily accessible and aesthetic way, which helps to attract their attention and thus increase the traffic to the website.
This video will give you more insight:
Differences between a blog and a website
When deciding between a blog and a website, it is also very important that you understand the difference between both platforms. The main difference between a website and a blog is in the way the information on the platforms is updated. When it comes to blogs, the content is regularly updated to make sure that you have fresh content for your readers, while a website’s information is static with updates only being performed when necessary.
Another major difference between a blog and a website occurs in how the platforms are used. While a blog is intended for sharing information and new ideas with the readers, a website main use is to provide users with various solutions to problems they are having. This includes providing them with information, products, or services. For example, a fashion blog would normally include news and updates on the latest fashion trends and other information such as tips on various trends. On the other hand, a fashion website is more likely to provide readers with fashion information as well as products and services related to the fashion industry, for example, clothes, shoes, personal shopping services, and so on.
Another difference is in the tone and style that is used when presenting the information to the users. For a blog, friendly and conversational tone is used to cultivate an informal relationship with the users that will help you gain their trust easily. However, a website tends to be more formal and professional, which helps to gain the confidence of the users.
Don’t panic if you should feel that you are still confused. A simple query on Twitter gives a lot of helpful guides as many people are facing the same problem:
— Aswini Vadapalli (@Myvashblogging) April 13, 2016
Why should you choose between a blog and a website?
While blogs and websites have several differences, they are similar in one way; they are used to provide useful information to the users. As a result, business owners have a problem deciding which platform they should use, while others just prefer to use both of the platforms at the same time. Others just substitute the use of one platform for the other, which is understandable considering that the use of both platforms can become blurry and confusing over time (in the long run, you can use your website as a blog by creating a blog section, and at the same time, you can build a static blog that can function as a website). However, it is important that you chose the platform that is best suited for your website, especially when you are getting started with your business and have to make important decisions about the budget, ease of managing your online presence, and the timeline to launching your online presence.
When should you use a blog instead of a website?
1) When you are not selling products or services online
Blogs are intended for sharing information with the readers while websites are mostly important when selling goods and services online. Therefore, unless you are selling products and services online and you need to use features such as a checkout system and a payment gateway, you should increase your online presence by using blogs instead of a website.
2) When you want to share fresh content with the readers regularly
As already mentioned, blogs are made up of posts that are updated regularly so as to provide readers with fresh content. Therefore, if you want to regularly share information and ideas with your readers, for example, news, opinions, or tutorials that are related to your field of business, you should use a blog.
3) When you want to minimize the operational costs
Blogs are cheaper to create than websites as they require less coding (almost none), formatting, and development time. Therefore, when you want to minimize the operational costs of having an online presence without sacrificing your visibility to potential customers, you should go for a blog instead of a website.
4) When you want to improve your search engine rankings
Since blogs are meant to be updated regularly, search engine algorithms are designed in such a way that the search engine crawls through the blogs regularly so as to fetch new content for internet users. The frequent crawling by search engines and the constant refreshment of the content provides your online brand with a greater chance of receiving high search engine rankings.
Most business owners who are new to the world of online business decide to have a website built only to use it as a blog. They thus end up spending a lot of time and money designing and developing a website, which could have been saved and diverted to growing the business. Fortunately, with the above information, business owners can be able to decide the type of platform they require most for their business.