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A Blog By Any Other Name is Still a Website

I’ve spent some time on this blog discussing the difference between a website and a blog, but I thought I’d tackle it again to help you all understand what this new “blog-thing” is all about and how to tell the difference between a blog and a website.

To clear things up and add to the confusion at the same time, I want to remind you that a blog is a website, and a website can have a blog.

A website is any collection of web pages on the World Wide Web which floats in cyberspace also known as the Internet. A blog is also a collection of web pages, and therefore it is also a website. Are you confused yet?

While blogs used to have some features that were unique to blogs, many websites are now embracing these features. When they embrace “enough” of those features, they become a CMS (Content Management System), which is a website with interactive features and database management tools necessary to run the website, making the life of the website administrator a little easier by helping to manage content.

So let’s look at a chart of what a blog has that a website probably doesn’t, and what a CMS might have as well. This might help clear up the confusion or add to it.

Feature Blog Website CMS
Feeds Y O Y
Comments Y N O
Chronological Order/Structure Y N O
Permalinks Y N Y
Date Oriented Posts Y N O
Frequent Updates Y Y Y
Built-in Use of Pinging Services Y N Y
Categories Y O Y
Trackbacks Y N O
Personal Voice and Opinion Y N O
Tags/Tagging Y N O
Updated Front Page Leading to Posts Y O Y
Archives Y N O
Static Pages O Y Y
Interactivity (Forms-Polls-Surveys) Y Y O
Relationship Links/XFN Y N O
Site Statistics O Y Y
PHP and/or Database Driven Content Y O Y
Difference between blogs and websites – O=Optional, Y=Yes, N=No

Part of what makes the difference between a website and a blog used to be the software tool(s) that runs the site and site’s design. Most blogging tools come ready out of the box with pinging, tagging, archives, trackbacks, comments, and all the programming to make the site work as it does. Websites were usually either created by hand or with a WYSIWYG web editing software package like FrontPage or Dreamweaver and single pages were created as necessary. But websites wanted all these slick features so many had to either add them manually.

What truly defines the difference between a website and a blog is the personal voice and style. Websites tend to be static billboards of information and articles, the authors an anonymous representative of the topic at hand. A blog tends to be one or more people’s opinions, essays, and commentaries on the topic at hand. Websites often represent companies and products while blogs represent people and their opinions.

Either way, the technical line between a blog and a website is getting thin as many people are turning to blogging tools to produce their websites. Thus the blogging tools become Content Management Systems (CMS) which manage the content of a site or blog, further blurring the lines. I personally use , the blogging tool, as a CMS on my main site, Taking Your Camera on the Road.

Do you have a blog or website? Do you refer to them differently for specific reasons? Or are they the same thing to you? What do you think is the defining difference between them? Is there much of a difference nowadays as more and more corporate websites also include blogs or using blogging tools to generate their websites? How important is the tool that generates the site in labeling the end results as a website or blog? What do you think?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

13 Comments

  1. Sean
    Posted February 20, 2006 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    Since discovering blogs about a year ago, I’ve always viewed them as an amazing, slimmed down CMS–and thus, the most powerful publishing development in years.

    For any person or organization looking to create a web presence at this moment in time, I couldn’t possibly image recommending any option other than using one of the blog programs. (I use Typepad at the moment, but I’m exploring using WordPress for a new site that I expect will have a long life and much traffic over time, thus my hesitance to start it on Typepad).

  2. Posted June 10, 2006 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Just converted it over this week.

    I ran into a few issues (to be expected when learning anything new)but I found alot of easy to understand support material on sites like yours and more than a couple experenced WP users online, willing to give good advice.

  3. joe
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I created my first blog about 1 month ago. I used wordpress and a simple theme. I have added on to the template fairly easily to make a full website. I did this with no knowledge of PHP…It was pretty easy!

  4. Posted October 4, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    WordPress is indeed quite easy to create a website with, even without php knowledge :)

  5. Matt
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting to see how the web is evolving from static pages, to blogs, to combinations of both. I wonder what the web will look like in a few years as social media adds yet another aspect of the web. Good comparison chart.

  6. simon
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, I know mine is a blog, wish it could be dofollow blog, I heard that dofollow blogs get more traffic, but also more spam as well :(

    • Posted December 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Dofollow is dead. As is nofollow. So worry about other SEO issues cuz those never mattered and continue to do nothing.

  7. simon
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the advice, what’s your comment on Pageranking though, is it dead as well?

    • Posted December 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Page Rank was stopped and removed by Google over a year ago. What is also dead is abusing comments with spammy names and links. :D

  8. Posted April 5, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Hi, Lorelle! Your post just goes to show that blogs and websites are rapidly meshing against each other’s separate boundaries. I have a blog and I want to make a transition towards making it an actual website… is this possible? It’s still so confusing to me.

    • Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you think the difference is between a website and a blog, but a blog features content in reverse chronological order, if set up that way. A website is any site on the web. A static style website (or blog) is one that has a static style front page, sometimes referred to incorrectly as a Splash Page (that’s a “click to enter” dumb design thing), and the blog is a click away.

      If you are publishing anything on the web, you are publishing on a website. Facebook is a website. Twitter is a website, though you use mobile and third party apps to access both, in theory, they are still websites. Every page published on the web is a web page. So a blog consists of web pages and is a website, it just handles content in reverse chronology.

  9. Troy
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    I think coding is going to die out in the next few years as wordpress and other methods become more dominant for their ease of use..

    • Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Actually you are wrong, to a point. The demand for programmers and coders is huge and on the rise as our lives move from the physical to the virtual. Web programming, design, and all related industries are booming.

      For users, access to code will drop as interfaces improve, so you are right on that. Thanks.


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