Add a Wordpress Blog to your Website
from Letchworth Web Designers Epsilis - covering Hertfordshire (Herts)
What is a blog?
A blog is a date based web publishing tool.
From Wikipedia: "A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website ... Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs."
From WordPress: "Blog is an abbreviated version of weblog, which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects."
That being said: a blog is an excellent way of adding new information like news stories, articles, press releases etc to your website and, if you want to, provides a nice way of encouraging your site visitors to interact with your site by leaving comments.
So the benefit of a blog to a small company is:
The ability to provide up to date information about you and your company to your potential customers. If you do not have the ability or knowledge to update your website yourself, adding a blog is probably the easiest and cheapest way of achieving this. A WordPress blog does take a little bit of effort to learn how to use, but not much, it is simpler than most website content management systems and well within the capability of most people.
The WordPress site put this rather nicely: "Software that provides a method of managing your website is commonly called a CMS or "Content Management System". Many blogging software programs are considered a specific type of CMS. They provide the features required to create and maintain a blog, and can make publishing on the internet as simple as writing an article, giving it a title, and organizing it under (one or more) categories. While some CMS programs offer vast and sophisticated features, a basic blogging tool provides an interface where you can work in an easy and, to some degree, intuitive manner while it handles the logistics involved in making your composition presentable and publicly available. In other words, you get to focus on what you want to write, and the blogging tool takes care of the rest of the site management."
And the bonus is search engines like blogs
The other good reason for using a blog over all other options is that the search engines like Google like them. Search engines are now favouring social media and blogs so why look for a more complicated solution?
Search engines also particularly like websites that are updated regularly, a blog gives you the ability to do that easily.
Why use WordPress for my blog?
There are a number of blogging software packages available and WordPress is one of the most popular.
It is well supported, designed to work out of the box with little customisation, has lots of add-ons if you need them and is relatively easy to alter designs to fit in with your website (although this is really the province of an experienced web designer).
A WordPress blog can be added to most linux web hosting packages provided they include MySQL database support. If you prefer you could host the blog on a separate domain but in most cases I would suggest adding to your existing website to get the advantage of the credibility your site has already accrued in the search engines (new sitesÂ to take longer to get established).
There is also the option to have a blog on the WordPress site but this gives you a basic blog, limited options over the design and and gives you a WordPress address. Some hosting companies also offer a limited version of the WordPress blog. The best solution is the full blown version installed on your own domain.
If you already have a website should you replace it with a blog?
Difficult to give only one answer to this:
If you already have a reasonable website, the answer is likely to be no. If you do not have a good website, then it would be sensible to consider getting rid of what you have and replacing it with something better that you can update yourself - a WordPress blog is one option.
Blogs are designed to be date and category based, websites tend to be organised around services and products. A WordPress blog has the ability to include pages as opposed to date based posts so you can have a traditional website based entirely on a WordPress blog. But blogs tend to look like blogs unless a lot of effort is put into making it look like a conventional website. So if you would prefer your site did not look like a blog - why start with a blog?
However, if your site is going to be largely built up of articles, with only a few standard web pages, then it is likely that a WordPress blog is your best bet.
It is still about Content
Whether it is a blog or a conventional website the most important consideration is creating good quality content that people are interested in. If you can update your website content easily you are more likely to do that, so a simple mechanism for publishing to the web is a great tool. But for some people, regularly updating their website is just not something they want to be bothered with. Here is my WordPress blog >>
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