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Building a blog or static website - which is better?

By Edited Nov 24, 2015 1 2

Blogging and building websites continues to become more and more popular. This article will discuss whether using one of the many blogging CMS (Content Management Systems) or building a static website is a better option.

How you plan to use your website is of primary importance when making this decision. For example is it something that you would like to add to regularly or not? Sites that you plan to post to frequently are much more suited to a blog set up. Blogs are designed so that we can easily add posts to our site without us needing to know very much at all about how it works behind the scenes. We simply have to log in and start typing into a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) text editor. Blogs of course can be used to make money if we monetize with programs like Google Adsense or make sales of affiliate products. A blog that we can add new content to regularly means we can update our site quickly with new information. At the same time, just setting up a blog does not mean that we have to post on a regular basis. So using blogging software provides flexibility regarding your website usage. This being the case, going with a blog seems like the best option. Why would anyone want to limit themselves to a static website that is harder to update?

There are a wide variety of blogging options today. There are many different free blogging platforms. Probably the most well known of these are Blogger and wordpress.com. These are easy to set up and do not cost users anything to run these blogs which are hosted for free. There are a wide variety of other free blogging sites including, but not limited to the following, blogetery, blogates and blogsome. It is easy to search for these free blog hosting sites by googling for things like "free wordpress blog hosting" or "free wordpress hosting sites" and so on. The good thing about these types of sites is that once you are used to the Wordpress blogging interface using any wordpress blog becomes easy. There are many other types of blogging software and even though they do roughly the same sort of thing, each may operate slightly differently. This is why learning how to use the Wordpress blogging interface is probably one of the best options if you are interested in starting a new blog. It may seem daunting at first as there are a wide variety of options but it is actually quite easy to get started and as you progress picking up how to use the various options is not too difficult.

Of course having a blog does not mean that you have to use one of the free hosting services. It is possible and may be desirable to host a blog on your own hosting account. This means that you will have to pay for your own domain and hosting provider but will give you additional freedom regarding how you run your site. For example, many of the free hosting providers do not allow you to put your own Google Adsense code on the sites. Blogger being the biggest exception. This means that if your plan is to monetize your blog at some stage then a self hosted Wordpress blog may be a sensible option. There are a wide variety of plugins that make blogging with Wordpress easy even for the technically challenged. The plugins help with installing the Adsense tracking code on your posts as well as helping improve your site's SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is important if you want your site to do as well as is possible, in other words appear highly in search results. Perhaps the most important thing though is to have unique content on your site that people search for online.

So why might someone elect to build a static website using HTML (Hyper-Text Mark-up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). This certainly sounds a bit more complicated than using blogging software where everything is taken care of for you and all you have to do is come up with your own content. Well there are actually tools like Dreamweaver that allows you to design your own sites without having to understand all the code that goes into them. That however is not a particularly good idea. The whole point for me when I design a website using HTML/CSS is so that I can learn how they work together so that I can produce a page exactly the way I want it. Rather than using a blog where the skin (the way it looks) is designed for me, sometimes I want to set up a site with a specific look. Designing a skin for Wordpress is a bit more involved in my opinion than learning a little bit about web design and making your own page. Obviously for really fancy designs then it takes a lot more work to get things set up in the first place. Making simple sites though can be achieved by studying some HTML/CSS tutorials and looking at examples that you can find online. Searching for things like "free html templates" pulls up a variety of sites that allow you to use their templates. This is a great stage from which to begin editing or building your own sites. Making your own simple website can also be considered a good idea because as long as does not have 1000s of pages, it will almost certainly take up less server space than a typical Wordpress install. Also making your own simple website allows you to look at SEO without using a plugin but rather finding out for yourself what helps your page climb the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Various things that you may want to consider are the meta tags that you use for "keywords" and "description" as well as your use of header and strong tags. Simple HTML sites built correctly will also likely be easy for Google spiders to crawl which may also be beneficial for your site to be indexed. The W3C Markup Validator allows you to find out if there are any problems.

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Comments

Nov 10, 2009 12:13am
maxbotanic
How a blog is started with CMS?

Nice information you have covered, keep it up.
Dec 9, 2009 8:00pm
classicalgeek
CMS is an acronym for Content Management Systems (or Software). This includes not only blogging platforms like Blogger and Wordpress, but content can also be managed through Wiki-based platforms, or other kinds of platforms, but also through hybrid platforms such as blikis (blog/wiki hybrids) (see my article on the Wikyblog CMS). Blogs are distinguished mostly by dated postings, categories or tags, and RSS feeds, whereas static websites are usually more internally hyperlinked. Wikis are the most internally hyperlinked, as each post may contain links to hundreds of other internal posts. Wikis generally tend to be more mass collaboration sites, or edited by a group of people. Blogs are generally a one-person job, whereas web sites may have one programmer or a whole team of people--graphic designers, coders, and copywriters, and perhaps even a manager who oversees the site design.
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