What is the difference between a blog and a website, if there is indeed a difference? This has confused many aspiring webmasters over the years but we’ll look to clarify the issue in this Blog vs Website guide.
Blog vs Website
To put it simply, a blog is a website and a website can be a blog. Makes sense? Thought not, but it gets clearer.
A website basically covers everything that has a URL and exists in its own space on the internet. Versus-All is a website and if you clicked a link to get here then you arrived from a website as well. Facebook is a social media network, but that in itself is a type of website as it exists under the name Facebook.com.
Unless of course you’re using the app, in which case it’s not a website. It’s an app—you probably saw that one coming.
So, what about a blog? Well, there is actually a loose definition for this one and it has been used to describe many different forms of website. In the loosest terms a blog is simply a website that focuses on regular content. That would make Versus-All a blog, but not Facebook, not Twitter and not those sites that you delete from your history every night in the hope that no one will find out what you’re up to.
In its strictest sense a blog is a personal website setup by someone who wants to write about a specific niche and is using a basic, WYSIWYG platform to do so. Such platforms include WordPress and Blogger, and it is these guys that defined the term initially, only to go on and broaden it.
Blog vs Website: How Blogs Changed
In the days before content platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Blogger, the only way to get a website online was to know HTML and/or to invest in an experienced website creating software like Dreamweaver and Frontpage. These combined drag-and-drop options with HTML coding and could be used to create both basic and complicated websites.
And websites they were, because they weren’t really suited to creating basic blogs. If that’s what you wanted then there were subdomains and free services out there that allowed you to do it for less, without going through all of that hassle.
When WordPress became more popular and other content platforms followed, they began to be used by all kinds of websites. You might not realize it, but some of the biggest websites online, including big news sites and online newspapers, use WordPress.
In the beginning WordPress was a platform that facilitated the creation of blogs and back then there was a separation between what blogs and websites were. When WordPress started to be used by these major sites then the lines between websites and blogs blurred somewhat and everything with written content came to be defined as a blog.
Blog vs Website: Does it Matter?
Of course not. These days most people understand what a blog is and they understand that blogging means much more than just talking about your day and telling readers about your hobbies. They know that it can mean everything from writing about the financial markets to writing listicles and giving your opinion on the latest celebrity news.
Not only that, but a few new words have crept in and are now being used in place of blog and/or website. The most common of these is Content Marketing, which is described in a little more detail below.
What is Content Marketing
If you’re creating a blog with the goal of making money and attracting visitors, and not just building a personal fanbase or telling the world about your likes and dislikes, then technically you’re content marketing.
This term is used to describe blogging for money. It’s blogging that incorporates elements of copyrighting and SEO in order to generate leads, to get more and more hits and, in essence, to make money. It is often a service offered by marketing and writing companies who provide their expertise to help get word of their customer’s business out there. It was undoubtedly coined by a team of writers or marketers who wanted to charge for their blogging services but decided they needed a word that didn’t sound so common and widely available.
Or maybe that’s just the cynic in us.
Domain vs Website
We’ve looked at blogs vs. websites, but what about domains vs websites? This is another question we have received a few times and one that we have seeing being asked many more times. Obviously, if you have spent any length of time on the internet, whether you’ve been blogging or just messing about on social media, you probably have a good idea of what the difference is.
But that can’t be said for everyone. The latest generation of internet uses tends to be so wrapped in social media that they have overlooked all the technical stuff that used to be essential knowledge if you wanted to do anything online. Then you have the older generations who are still reluctant to own a computer, let alone buy a smartphone and download an app.
If you are in either of these groups then just know that a domain is the URL, the thing that you type in (including the “http://“) in order to get to a piece of virtual real estate. As for that virtual real estate, that’s the website. Unless it’s a blog of course…but we’ve already covered that.
In terms of creating your own site, your first step is to buy a domain. This is essentially the virtual way of buying a plot of land. After that, then you need to build and launch your website, which is the equivalent to building a house on that land. The domain needs to be registered with a registrar, which is often done for you by the same company that sells you the website space. They do not own it though and merely lease it for you.
Think of them like a shop that sells lottery tickets. Those tickets are provided by the gaming company who take most of the profits. But the shop that sells them does so because they earn a small share and know that customers who buy them will also buy other things. In the case of a domain, they know that when they register it in your name, you will also pay for the website and the other services they offer, all of which will then be placed on their servers, which they do own.