In some people’s minds, there are big differences between a web site and a blog. Web sites are tended to be seen as a more serious vehicle for delivering content, while blogs have tended to be seen in a more trivial, even frivolous, manner. This view, however, is based on a earlier understanding of the web – let’s set the record straight.
So What is a Web Site and What is a Blog?
Definition of Web Site
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 organization – Webster’s Dictionary Definition
A set of texts and/or images usually sharing a common theme, accessible via the Internet by keying in the address of the site, known as a uniform (or universal) resource locator (URL), or by using a hyperlink from another site. – Oxford Dictionary Definition
Definition of Blog
A Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site
– Webster’s Dictionary Definition
A personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis. – Oxford Dictionary Definition
Traditionally, a blog has been considered a place for people to speak their mind. Originally intended as a kind of journal or online diary, a blog encourages commentary and robust discussions on issues, both contrasting and related opinions. Blogs can house opinions, facts, news, fiction – whatever. Blogs tend to have a central theme, but there is no hard and fast rule about that.
The Blurring of the Line
So, even though a blog is usually thought of as something different than a website, in their definitions we can see that a blog is just a type of website. More and more what used to be traditional web sites now contain blogs as part of their architecture – in fact some of the largest sites on the web are now primarily blogs.
The blog part of your site makes it easy to add current, relevant, and ever-changing content on a website. This type of content is critical to a site’s success. It encourages your audience to visit your site on a repeated basis (or to query your site in their news feeds). Static, ‘evergreen’ content on a web page is important for conveying critical information to a user, but it does not invite them to come back to the site for another visit. Blog posts, however, give timely and continual new information to your audience and will bring them back for more.
Blog content also is important for search engine optimization. It adds to the information on your site and encourages sharing of your links and articles with social networks. As Facebook’s new EdgeRank algorithm takes the timeliness of information into account in its equation of what gets published in a news feed, the need for quality, relevant information that is generated often becomes crucial in successfully using it as a communications platform.
What Can Web Services Do to Help?
One web publishing platform that makes it very easy to have a web site and a blog as part of that website is WordPress. Our new UF&Shands template, Apollo, makes adding a blog to your site quick and easy. As you can see, this site is using the blog. Another good example is the blog to be found on the UF Student Health Care Center website.
- Writing a blog post in WordPress is very similar to creating a static page, but with a few key differences. Refer to our training section for a tutorials on how to create a blog post, and don’t hesitate to contact me for additional training.
- While easy to set up, blogs are hard work. They require a dedicated amount of resources, planning, and strategy to successfully execute and to attract readers, and are on ongoing, evolving process thereafter. If you are thinking of starting a blog for your department site, contact Jeff Stevens, our web content optimizer, to discuss how to about preparing for the project.
- In the future, our team will be working on some additional blog-specific themes that integrate into the look and feel of Apollo. These themes will be ideal for the smaller individual blogs that do not require the functionality of a larger website.
Here are some links for more information about blogs and website.
- Learning About Blogging and How to Blog
- Blogs vs Web Sites
And a link for some tips on what goes into a good blog.