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.
|Date Oriented Posts||Y||N||O|
|Built-in Use of Pinging Services||Y||N||Y|
|Personal Voice and Opinion||Y||N||O|
|Updated Front Page Leading to Posts||Y||O||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 WordPress, 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?