To get a presence on the internet it has always been advisable to create a website of some kind. The problem is many people just do not have the web design skills or know how to go about putting a website together. These days’ things have moved on and you now have a choice of creating either a website or a blog.
A website can be created with a web design package such as Dreamweaver or XSite Pro. Sometimes it is possible to find a free service online, although these can be somewhat limited in terms of what can be achieved.
The alternative is to create a blog. Google loves blogs and even has its own blog creation service which I will talk about shortly.
Blogs and websites – what is the difference?
Initially people used blogs as a kind of personal diary about themselves. You would find interesting day to day updates such as what someone was having for breakfast or what shirt they decided to wear. It then moved onto a more serious level and people found they could represent their company or business presence by using a blog.
A website’s main page is usually static, whereas a blog will have sections where you can interact. For example people can add comments to a post that interests them.
Blogs are made up of posts and pages. When you write something it is known as a post. A website will have an HTML page of text.
There are two front runners when it comes to blogging and they are WordPress and Blogger. If you install WordPress via your hosting company then you will be able to use it for promoting products that you wish to sell. If you install it from the WordPress company site then you cannot use it for monetary promotion.
Blogger is owned by Google and offers the chance to get your message on the internet quickly. It is very limited in what you can do, but decent sites can be created with it. You will find it at blogger.com
It is possible to make your WordPress blog look like a website, but this takes considerable skill as it involves tinkering with the internal settings. I would not recommend this unless you know what you are doing and you are determined to have a website look and feel to your blog.
There is a good chance your hosting company will have a facility to install a WordPress blog. Some call it one click install and it really is as easy as that. Once installed you are able to change the theme if it is not to your liking. There are hundreds of themes to choose from and you are bound to find something that meets your requirements.
HTML is the language used in the design of web pages. If you do not know it, nor have the desire to learn it then WordPress is your best bet. It does have an HTML facility, but it is not necessary to use it when creating your blog. There is a visual and an HTML editor view and you can choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
WordPress has what are called plugins. These are little applications that add functionality to your blog. An example is a search engine optimisation plugin which will allow you to enter keywords and descriptions of your blog post. This is said to help your post to rank well in Google for example.
You need to be careful not to install too many plugins, especially ones from third party sources. One current issue with WordPress sites is that they can get hacked and malware can be placed on them. In many cases this is due to an out of date plugin. Of course normal websites can be hacked also, but because WordPress is a popular platform, it has become fashionable for hackers to target it.
It is really down to the individual whether they choose to go with a website or a blog. Both offer great features. If you are a business you may feel a website represents your business better than a blog. Whichever way you go, blog or website, you can create great looking sites with either platform.