What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog

Colorful text says blog versus website.We live in a world of ever changing terms and jargon. Let’s see if this will add to the confusion or clear things up when it comes to what to call a blog and what to call a website.

A website, or site, is a collection of web pages.

A site is designated by its domain name, the part of the address or URL that defines the site such as WordPress.com, WordPress.org, or lorelle.wordpress.com.

A web page is any page on the web, usually found within a website.

A web page address is an extension of the domain name that points to the web page location on the site, such as example.com/article-title or example.com/2014/03/21/article-title/.

A blog is a site with content displayed in reverse chronological order.

These are the facts. A site can be a blog and a blog is a site.

However, there are the myths that we have to deal with.

The Myths: Blog Vs. Site

The term “blog” has been used derisively as a description of a personal blog, one filled with personal and sometimes private “babbling and rattling,” as one newspaper described it.

Today, when people refer to their blog, they usually mean their own personal site. The content with it could be highly personal or very professional, showcasing their expertise.

Doctor Who: You two. We are at the end of the universe. At the edge of knowledge itself, and you’re busy…blogging!

When people referred to their “site,” they mean a static website where each page was created to host content, and the content was not generated dynamically with programming pulling data from a database.

Where as a dynamic site with a database can function with only one file, a template with programming to pull in content from the database based upon the user’s requests, a static site had no programming, thus all the content, layout, and structure was set into each web page on the site.

Chart of static verses dynamic website structure - graphic by Lorelle VanFossen.

Many “static” sites had comments and forums, thus making them interactive. As most websites use a database-based publishing platform such as WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, etc., sites are no longer static but dynamically generated.

WordPress is still considered for bloggers only, but web publishing platforms such as WordPress are used as:

  • Blogs (in the traditional sense of an interactive personal site)
  • Static Sites (information only, no interactivity other than a comment form or forum)
  • Ecommerce sites (sales of products and services)
  • Directories (members, data, and contact lists)
  • Magazines (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine…)
  • Corporate Sites (massive contributors, content, columns, traffic, and custom functionality)

Reducing WordPress to the category of “blog” underestimates its ability and flexibility.

As of 2010, and WordPressMU merged and the multi-site version became known as WordPress MS (multi-site). The multi-site version of WordPress allows the user to install one “parent” installation of WordPress and dozens to millions of individual “child” sites. With companies and educational institutions using WordPress MS for their corporate sites and intra-networks, calling every WordPress site a blog became impractical as these are not just blogs but individual sites under an umbrella site. The , the online manual for WordPress Users, and all help and support documentation transitioned to the word “blog” to “site,” fairly representing all types of possible uses for WordPress.

Calling It Blog or Website?

Now you know. A website is a blog and a blog is a site, merely a collection of web pages. Website, site, blog. We’re still in the early days of the evolving lexicon of web publishing.

Many people have discontinued the use of the term “blog,” referring to their websites as “sites.” Personally, I like the term blog as it has such a beautiful history in the development of freedom of speech and expression around the world.

When web pages developed, they were static repositories for data and information, be it technical papers, articles, or stories. Usenet groups and forums were the earliest forms of interaction on the web, the beginning of the social web. Blogs brought forth the first publishing platforms in which not only technical papers, articles, and stories could be published, but shared and opening discussed, the discussions attached and preserved to the documents that inspired them.

While the term may fade as people leave the mythology of blogging behind them and add some legitimacy to their websites by calling them “sites” and not “blogs,” I will hold true to the name “blog” with honor and respect.

Next time the discussion comes up at a party or social event on the difference between a site and a blog, you’ll have the answer.

A blog is a site with the content displayed in reverse chronological order.

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4 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog

  1. Pingback: Family History Blogging Resources and Tips | Learning from Lorelle

  2. Pingback: WordPress Site Models | Learning from Lorelle

  3. Pingback: Blog Exercises: To Comment or Not to Comment « Lorelle on WordPress

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