The traditional definition of a blog is a website type that is updated very regularly, usually from a personal diary perspective. Traditionally the most recent entries published are listed and shown at the top of it, and it is an interactive place as readers can make comments and engage with themselves and with the author.
Static websites are traditionally just that – static. But static websites eventually caught up with blogs and today many HTML websites feature updated content daily, personal views and interactivity with help of Facebook comments and such. On the other hand blogs themselves have moved more towards traditional websites with improved navigation, functionality, design and content layouts.
The line is now blurred
So currently there is not such a big difference between a static website and a blog as it was few years ago – the line is blurred and the difference is getting smaller and smaller. Looking at it from visitor’s point of view it makes no difference for them if they are reading an insightful article on a blog or on a website. Similarly it makes no difference for a visitor if they are watching an entertaining video on a blog or on a website. If you take a poll and ask people about what type of a website they are reading, they probably won’t be able to tell you the difference – for visitors all that counts is the content itself.
From the front-end that visitors see, they are pretty similar, but from the admin back-end there is a big difference in running a static website and a blog. When I first began to create websites in 1990’s it was all about FrontPage and creating static websites via HTML coding, and constantly using FTP software to change and update the site. I can tell you that you don’t want to deal with HTML, FTP, file permissions, source codes, DreamWeaver, FrontPage and all the rest.
These days you don’t have to spend time learning how to deal with html code and FTP like I had to do when I started. Even without this knowledge you can have a great online website. A blog is simple to setup, and you don’t need HTML, CSS, FTP and others to get started. You can simply start one in few minutes and get down to the important tasks like creating valuable content and growing your traffic. Also Google likes blogs more. As blogs have a cleaner and better coding and structure, they are given some priorities in Google’s search result rankings compared to static sites.
Should I stay or should I go?
So the question is how do you work if you have them both? “Should I integrate my blog into my existing website or should I get a new domain name for it?” is a frequently asked question when people who already have a website want to start a blog as well. The choice is between whether to include the blog within the existing website (for example yoursite.com/blog) or to keep it separated and create a new domain name for it (i.e. yourblog.com). It is a very important decision to make and a good question to ask yourself, but there is no right or wrong answer really. It all ultimately depends on what goals you have with the blog and the website and what you want to achieve. Take your time and look a bit deeper into the two options:
Keeping the blog alongside the website on your existing domain name is the most integrated approach. They both will look and feel like one site and in terms of branding it will be the most consistent approach. If your blog is well integrated within the rest of your website, the content would be a good way to attract interest to your products and services. Having a blog that is regularly updated with quality content and that has people sharing the articles via social media can be a very positive influence to your organic search engine rankings and will help your website rank for targeted keywords. This will indirectly help get more attention and visitors to your site and to your products.
Domain name is one of the most powerful factors in getting organic traffic from search engines. If your existing website has no keywords in its domain name (for example if it is companyname.com), it is worth looking into getting a keyword rich and descriptive domain name. This will help establish the site in search engine results for relevant keywords. This way you would have a better chance of ranking for important keywords that you may not be able to with your main website.
Having a stand-alone blog could lead to you building a good informational source of content for your specific topic with a different branding than your main site and more editorial freedom. This could lead to more opportunities for you, like selling advertising. It would be harder to sell ads on your company website, while on a popular blog it is a very natural thing to do.
To help you make a decision it is important to understand how blogging software like WordPress can be integrated into your existing website CMS. How easy is it to integrate them? Can the design be same on both to provide a better user experience? Answers to integration questions like these might show you what your best option is.