Website or Blog?
This series of articles by our website editor Claire Baldry is intended for people who do not feel technically confident but wish to create or update their own digital pages without paying a third party to create and maintain the pages for them. In her first article, Claire urges potential creators to consider their needs before beginning the process.
"So many times," says Claire "I have heard the words “I really do need a website” spoken by writers or others embarking on a creative venture. But if funds are in short supply, or you are a technophobe, then increasing your online presence can feel like a monumental task."
Blog or Website or Both?
It seems hard to believe that the word ‘blog’ has only existed for just over twenty years. It came about in the late 1990s as a joining of the words ‘web’ and ‘log’ and is generally used to describe an online journal, series of reflections or articles. Although many blogs contain photographs, web links, and videos, a blog is usually more text heavy than a website, so it’s hardly surprising that blogging is a chosen medium for many writers. A website tends to be more complex in structure with a menu which will take the reader to very many different pages, such as online shops and photo galleries. However the lines between website and blog are very blurred, and we can all point out websites which include blogs and blogs which include online shops. If pushed for a difference, I would say you tend to read a blog, whereas you explore a website.
What do you want to create?
If you want to include lots of ‘meaty’ stuff in the form of an online journal or series of articles, then your needs are likely to fit more easily into a blog. Examples are book bloggers, travel writers, consumer reviews, satirical or philosophical writers, or people who are seeking a vehicle to showcase examples of their own work, such as short stories, extracts or informative pieces. Readers of blogs expect to see text and won’t mind if there’s a lot of it.
If you want to include a shop, showcase your own business or products or events and create a site with a more complex structure which can be dipped into and explored, then you are probably better off with a website. Readers of websites expect to access sub-menus and enjoy varied pages which are visually appealing.
Before you Start
Once you have started to create a website or blog, you are almost certain, in time, to want to change and develop it, but such changes can be very time consuming, so, before you start, it is worth investing a few hours researching both websites and blogs created by others to see what best suits your needs. When you have made up your mind about the sort of content you want to include, you will be much better placed to choose a suitable blogging or website tool (many of which are low cost or even free). In my next two articles I will have more examples and look in greater detail at both blog and website creation, but in the meantime, here are a few examples of blogs and websites for you to investigate. As far as I know, the creators of the links below are not IT specialists but, like me, have mostly taught themselves. Some are ‘work in progress’. Enjoy exploring