Friday, July 28, 2017

Online Presence - Blogs Vs Websites

Online Presence - Blogs Vs Websites

Which is better for your online business - a blog or a website? Or both? Here are some easy ways to decide on which way to go. These work equally well if you are just starting out or if you already chose one method and you are having second thoughts.

First, we'll see what the major differences are, and then we'll see how to decide what works best for you. You will be living with your decision daily, usually, and you want to be comfortable with the format you choose, so we'll also cover upkeep or maintenance.


Most blogs are free. You can choose your name providing no one else has already used that name. Most blog hosts allow you to archive your articles. You can link to a store or shop you may have on Etsy or eBay or Amazon or anywhere else, so you do not have to worry about shopping carts or orders. Your shop will manage that. You can concentrate on promoting and explaining your business, how it can help, the quality of your products or services, and why they should click on your link. Most blogs allow you to track stats and add images. Blogs have a comfy, casual feel.


Most websites cost money. There is the domain name registration fee plus the website hosting fee. There are some free website hosts but if you grow, you will need to upgrade, for a fee. However, you have a large number of features available, if you want to use them - shopping carts, auto-responders, guest books, top and bottom of page links, and the ability to move things around whichever way you wish. Websites have a formal, business-like feel.

How Do I Know Which is Best for Me?

This depends on which type of business image do you want to offer.

If you like the idea of a casual, cozy, "come visit with me" type of feel, then a blog is for you. If you want to talk about your products and services, and why they are good, but let your shop handle the orders except for the mailing, then a blog is for you. If you prefer an easy-going, low-upkeep online presence, a blog is for you.

If, however, you want a really snazzy, sharp business-look, you are probably better off with a website. If you want to handle it all - orders, fulfillment, catalog, plus have a great look, a website is for you. If you want lots of features, starting small but knowing you can add and add as you grow, then a website is for you. If you prefer knowing that you and you alone "own" your site, then a website is for you.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Blogs are low-maintenance. At most, with some templates, you will have one or two sidebars, and maybe a row of links across the top for areas of interest. Upkeep is very low once you've laid out your site.

Websites are high-maintenance unless you have the money to pay someone to update yours.  For this article, we are discussing do-it-yourself sites. Even if you are at a high computer-literate level, website maintenance is tricky. Change something on your catalog page and you have to follow through on orders; change something on Contact Us and you need to be sure it doesn't affect the order form on another page. Change the name of a page and you must be sure to follow through on all the links from your other pages. It's not impossible, but it's a lot of work. Many entrepreneurs like the challenge of keeping all the puzzle pieces together, and if this is your style, go for it.

In general, a blog is fairly stationary; a website is very flexible.

You can always change your mind down the line. If you are still unsure, then start with a blog and move into a website later. That is far easier to do than to build a website and then downsize to a blog. Either way, you now have a few guidelines to help you decide.

Evelyn Mayfield has been writing and editing for over 30 years. She spends her time writing, crafting, and blogging. She is the author of the paperback, The Busy Person's Prayer Book, and sells her handcrafts on Etsy.
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