Media Questions and AnswersOne of the questions I get asked the most often when I am working with a client on a website project is: What is the difference between a website and a blog? The answer is that these days there isn’t much difference between a blog and a website since I, and  many other time and cost conscious web designers and developers these days, are using blogging software such as WordPress to manage and publish websites that aren’t intended to operate as a blog. That way, non-techie users can easily update the website with very little training before or after the website or blog is launched. It’s an ideal solution for authors, artists, entrepreneurs and mission driven organizations with limited time and budget.

The basic difference between a blog and a website is that on a website the content remains, for the most part static. On blogs — at least on majority of blogs — each new article (or post as they are called on blogs) is displayed in chronological order with the most recent post replacing the previous post in the order the posts are displayed . And, most importantly, users can easily leave comments and interact with the blogger and other site visitors.

Corporate and organizational websites are generally more formal and blogs tend to be more informal (here I am referring to the style and tone of the content not to a blog as a publishing platform). The difference between a corporate website and a company blog is obvious by the different way the content is presented on each.

Many companies and organizations these days simultaneously manage blogs and websites. The greatest benefit of publishing a regular blog is that blogs are indexed by search engines with greater frequency compared to conventional websites because they expect the information on blogs to change often and Google loves fresh content.

So given a choice should you have a blog or a website for your company? I suggest you have both run them under a single domain. For instance you can have the main company website under your domain name i.e. mediamag.ca and then under a subdirectory you can run your blog i.e. mediamag.ca/blog. This way you only have to register one domain and visitors are directed to a single domain which will increase your page ranking in Google and other search engines.

Your website can serve as a company brochure while your blog can serve as your company voice and encourage comments on the posts from its readers.

It takes about fifty hours to set up a website with Joomla! (a free and open source content management system or CMS) and around half that time to set up a blog using WordPress (a free and open source blog publishing system) and prebuilt themes that range in price from free to $75 for a premium one such as those offered by Rockettheme.com.

WordPress is flexible enough that with the appropriate combination of static pages and dynamic posts, you can make a blog look like a website and a website look like a blog. However, if ecommerce, large online stores and such are more your style, you’d be better off creating a website in Joomla! to take advantage of its more robust features.