Blog v Websites – confused?
First things first:
All blogs are websites, but not all websites are blogs.
Now let’s dig a bit deeper.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a dynamic website where the blog posts or entries are published in reverse chronological order. When a visitor lands on a Blog, the most recently published content is shown first.
The word “Blog” is shorthand for “Web Log”, which were originally personal journals shared online. Blog content is now often called “Entries” or “Posts”, so a Blog will consist of a series of regularly published “Posts”. The content is usually broken down into different categories too, so it’s easy to find relevant content.
Because of the more personal, informal nature of a blog, readers can often interract with the content via Comments or Likes.
What is a Website?
A website is a collection of static content displayed as one or more pages. Once published, it will stay in the same arrangement until it is updated.
Every website has a Landing Page, usually called the Home Page. A traditional Website will have a static Home Page, where content is laid out according to the importance of information, not according to the date it was published. Having introductory sections on your Home Page will lead visitors to other parts of the website, such as Contact Page, About Page, Terms and Conditions, etc.
You have control over how information is displayed on every website page, so can guide visitors around your website and encourage them to buy your product or get in touch.
Blog v Website: which is better?
Hmm. That depends. If you want to share your favourite recipes or engage with like-minded people, a blog is the best starting point. If you want to sell products or services, a static website is best.
But the best option is to have a website which includes a blog. This is because static and dynamic content are treated differently by search engines.
Posts, which are dynamic content, are published differently to pages, which are static content. When a post is published, it is “pinged”, which means that search engines are immediately aware that there is new content at your domain address. When pages are added or content on pages are edited, there is no notification to search engines that this has been done. Therefore, it is valuable, if you want to rank more highly be search engines, to publish blog content.
Do Blogs and Websites need domain name?
Both Blogs and Websites need domain names. (Read our blog about Domain Names here.) You can start a blog on a blogging platform such as WordPress.com or Blogging.com for free without having your own domain name – in which case your domain name would be myblog.wordpress.com. However, it is much better to invest in your own domain name right from the start, so you can have myblog.com.
Do I need a separate Website and Blog for my business?
No. It is much better to have a blog as part of your main website.
Can I have a Blog on my Website?
Yes! In fact, we would thoroughly recommend having one. It is the best way to ensure that your website is regularly updated. Search engines rate blogs over static information, so a blog from your website is more likely to be ranked more highly than information published on a page.
WordPress.org is our favourite platform for combining the two – you add Pages for the static, evergreen content of your Website, and Posts for the regularly posted content on your Blog.
All our websites are WordPress because we believe it is the best way to add both static and dynamic content. And because we practise what we preach (most of the time!), we have designed all our websites with a Blog included because we believe it is the best combination for any business. (Check out our packages here.)
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1 What is a Domain name?
A Domain Name is a unique name that people type into a browser to find a particular website. Ours is “newflatwhite.flatwhitedesign.pw.” It it similar to our company name – Flat White Websites – but has to have a top-level domain too.
2 Are Domain Names and Websites separate things?
Yes. Every website needs a domain name, although every domain name doesn’t need a website.
3 Free v paid Domain Names: which is better?
Domain names are often provided by website hosts for free. This is usually one name, and often for a limited time period. It’s a good incentive, but only if the name is registered to you and not the host. That way, you can move your website to another host when your current contract ends.
4 Where can I buy a Domain Name?
You can buy a domain name via an accredited registrar. Nominet is responsible for any domain ending in the .uk Top Level. They have a useful page on their website where you can type in a domain (as long as it has a .uk ending), and they will list all the different registrars that can offer it for sale.
5 How much does it cost to register a Domain Name?
This depends on the Top Level. For example, “websitewisdom.london” is more expensive than “websitewisdom.co.uk”.
Expect to pay between £5 and £10 per year for the first year, and increasing to between £10 and £20 for subsequent years. Buying a domain name for 3-5 years will reduce the annual cost.
It’s worth shopping around as costs vary between different companies.
6 Can I purchase a Domain Name directly from a website host?
Usually, yes. Make sure that the domain is registered in your name, and not in your host’s name. (We do this for any domain name that we provide for our Flat White Websites.)
7 Can I transfer my Domain Name if I change website host?
Yes. Because you have registered your domain, you can point it to any website host you choose.
8 Should I purchase a domain name through a registrar or a website host?
It’s up to you. Some website hosts offer a free domain name for the first year, which is great if you are on a limited budget. But, whether you buy through a registrar or your website host, check what you will pay after the first 12 months.
9 Are domain names with .com always preferable?
Not necessarily. The good thing about .com is that it is known worldwide. The bad thing is that it doesn’t give any clue to your location, and it is usually more expensive. We recommend buying at least two domain names – .com and your country (in our case, .co.uk) – if you can afford it.
10 Should I protect my personal information with private registration?
Not really, unless you have very personal information.
11 Does it matter what the name is for SEO?
It is better for SEO if your name makes sense. Including a keyword that reflects your business is a good idea. For example, B&Q have DIY.com as their domain name as B&Q doesn’t give any information about their business for search engines. However, make sure that your domain name is easy to say and memorable.
Struggling to choose a Domain Name for your business? Download this Infographic for some helpful tips:
Any more questions about Domain Names? Get in touch, and we will do our best to answer them.
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