Updated: March 20, 2017
When I spoke at the Rochester Writers Spring Conference last weekend, one of the questions asked in multiple conference sessions (including mine) was:
What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
My reply was, that’s a good question.
And not easy to explain as the two words are being used interchangeably these days.
I shared an explanation, defining a blog as a type of website with posts in chronological order and a website as a collection of web pages. And I explained that a website could include a blog.
But I wasn’t happy with my explanation, so I decided to spend more time thinking about it over the weekend.
Here’s what I came up with.
What is a Blog?
- A blog is the shortened term for the phrase “weblog” (shout out to Josh Kramer for the correction)
- A blog is a type of website
- Blogs were created for people to create personal journals on the web
- A blog contains posts (individual stories or articles), displayed in reverse chronological order
- Comment forms at the end of each post encourage readers to give feedback and have discussion with the author and other readers. Some blogs no longer have comment forms.
- Blog posts are organized by categories and tags
- A blogger is someone who writes blog posts
What is a Website?
- A website is a collection of related web pages
- The web pages aren’t ordered by date
- Web pages don’t typically have comment areas, though some do
- A website may have a self-contained blog
- Web pages are hierarchical; they aren’t organized by categories
- Some websites sell products and services, like Amazon
Depending on your goals and objectives, you may have a website or a blog. Or a website with a blog.
So, you might ask, how does WordPress enter into the picture?
WordPress can create a blog, a website, or a website with a blog.
Trying to define the two terms wasn’t easy.
Luke uses WordPress for the online classes he teaches. He’s taught WordPress basics to his students as well as to fellow higher education instructors.
We had a lot of direct messages going back and forth on Twitter this afternoon as we discussed what the two words mean.
Luke said he struggles with an answer.
I generally try to explain that blog is a specific kind of website layout with the reverse-chronological listing of all kinds of posts, whereas a website may be a bunch of relatively static pages or forms with some navigation added.
But I usually mention that with WordPress has made it possible to do both or just either or mix them.
I like his definition, too. How about you?
If you were asked, how would you define a website vs. a blog? Share your definition in the comments.