Yes, there’s a difference between a blog and a website. Generally, a blog publishes regularly on a specific topic, while a website stands to be more informative and is typically updated less frequently with fresh content. However, the lines have blurred over time as the internet has matured and become a more integral part of our everyday lives. Today, blogs are often a component of a business’s website, and in many cases, the two go hand in hand.
Still, there are some clear delineations when it comes to which type of site is best for certain folks. For example, an individual fashion blogger or political commentator is more likely to start a blog to share their thoughts with the world, while a CPA or plumber may opt for an informative website about their services (although a blog on these types of websites would be a great marketing tool). But for a business, choosing a blog vs. website comes down to who you are, the audience you want to reach, and the role a blog plays in your marketing strategy.
Benefits and drawbacks of a website
A website is an essential marketing tool for any business, but with nearly two billion websites of all kinds currently published online, it takes a bit of creativity and elbow grease to cut through the clutter and reach your ideal customers. Still, not all businesses need a blog, and many can excel with just a website marketing their services.
Benefits of a website
These online pages are the backbone of the internet. The following are some ways a good “.com” (or .net, or .co, or .biz…) can benefit a business.
- It makes your company look official. Simply put, any legitimate business has the digital chops to prove it with a website. Most customers assume that your business has an online presence, and they may even think twice about working with your company if you’re not active on the internet. Even if your website only consists of some basic information about your services or products, that goes a long way in presenting the right face to your customers. If you went with a blog for this purpose, it would sit empty, as blogs need to be updated regularly to keep visitors engaged.
“A website confers more authority to your brand, making it look more professional and legitimate,” Gregory Golinski, digital marketing manager at Livestorm, explains. “Using a blog makes you look like a blogger or influencer — which is totally fine — but it doesn't make your organization look like a real company.”
- It makes it easier for customers to reach you. Business websites are hubs of information that customers from around the globe can access at any time. By not only letting people know about your goods and services, but also how to reach out for questions or support, you immediately position yourself above other companies that haven’t created their own digital home just yet. Making that kind of information readily available makes your business seem more approachable to potential customers.
- You have complete control. Unlike blogs, many of which may operate from proprietary third-party publishing platforms, a dedicated website gives you full control over how your company is portrayed. Web hosts like Namecheap often offer a free website builder to help you design your own website exactly how you want it.
- You can (and should) have a blog incorporated. Just because you started by creating a dedicated website, doesn’t mean you can’t add a blog to your website — they aren’t mutually exclusive! Blogging is an important tool for digital marketing, and you should add this functionality to your website if it makes sense for your business.
While blogs are certainly an excellent way to publish content, they aren’t as easily converted into full-fledged websites. Websites can, however, have a blog added to the overall structure of the site as an added reason for people to visit your page. According to Stefan Ateljevic, founder of PlayToday, the difference between a website that has a blog included and one that doesn’t is night and day:
“Those websites that have blogs that are frequently updated, which can be an advantage compared to those websites that don’t have a blog section,” he said. “In fact, Hubspot’s research tells that websites with the blog section have more than 50 percent more visitors than those that don’t.”
Drawbacks of a website
There are many things to consider when planning out a website for your business, and for smaller companies, it may not be a good fit — no matter how simple and intuitive the website builder may be. The following are some of the reasons why a business website may not be the best choice.
- It takes work. Whether you’ve built your own website from scratch or used an online website builder, there are a lot of moving parts to contend with. You’ll need to keep an eye on your website to make sure that everything is in working order, and you may need to drop everything and fix it if something important, such as an order form, stops working.
- It needs to look right — or it may backfire. A good website entices customers and keeps them engaged by implementing User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) principles and best practices. This ensures that websites not only look great, but that all the important information is easy to find and that the site is simple for your visitors to use. If your website falls short of these expectations, you may find yourself with some frustrated customers.
- You have to pay to develop and maintain one. Creating a website could require the help of an expert who can design and develop it, plus time to maintain it and solve issues that may arise. Thankfully, you can still create a beautiful website even if you don’t have the budget to hire experts. Namecheap’s Site Maker deploys a simple drag-and-drop builder, so you can create a gorgeous, informative website in minutes without knowing a single line of website code. Plus, you can even create one with a blog built in!
Benefits and drawbacks of a blog
Blogs are heavily associated with individuals with something to say, whether that’s a film critic sharing reviews or a chef cataloging recipes. That’s not necessarily a business — although there are plenty of opportunities to monetize a blog with affiliate marketing and other collaborations — so it’s wise to consider the differences between a blog and a website before making your choice. The blog pros and cons described below can help you decide.
Benefits of a blog
If a traditional business website is like an encyclopedia entry, a blog is more akin to a magazine. Yes, it functions like a traditional website, but a blog feels more casual and narrative than a corporate website, placing fresh content front and center. If you’re willing to put in the time and have great ideas for blog content, the following benefits may further pique your interest.
- It’s simpler from the get-go. Unlike a dedicated business website, blogs can be easier to start and maintain, as they often don’t have the more advanced functions that a fully fleshed-out website may offer. In addition to not putting a huge dent in your bottom line, a business blog can also get up and running much faster than a comprehensive website, and with little tech experience required — especially if you’re using a website builder like Namecheap’s Site Maker.
- A blog is more targeted. If your business caters to a niche audience or wants to cut through the noise online, a blog can be much more targeted than a website. You can leverage the power of a blog-centric website to showcase how your products and services move about in the real world, helping bring them to life on screen.
“The blogs target valuable customers and reach them precisely.” Harriet Chan, co-founder and marketing director at CocoFinder, said. “Blogs move closer to the audience and fulfill their needs by answering the expected questions related to the services and products.”
- It’s a great way to bring customers to your website. Blogs are an excellent way to create interesting, authoritative, and relevant content that can be another touch point for your potential customers to learn about your product or service. By making the blog a central focus of your website, you can then bring visitors to other pages and eventually encourage them to act by buying your product or filling out your contact form.
- It offers fresh content, which is good for customers and search engines. Regularly sharing quality content is an indicator to search engines that your website is relevant and important. A blog is a natural way to add content to your website, crafting different messages and tackling many topics that can help both your customers and the search engine algorithms respond favorably to your brand. As new content is added, search engines catalog it through a process called indexing, then sort it according to relevance to the topic at hand.
“One major advantage of operating a business blog instead of a website is that by their nature, blogs are constantly updating with new information,” Sacha Ferrandi, founder & principal of Source Capital, said. “Some website engines will also automatically ping search engines when a new post goes up and have their crawlers index your new content.”
Drawbacks of a blog
Blogs are certainly a powerful tool for all types of businesses, but not all businesses should put their blog first as a business tool. Here are some of the drawbacks of having a blog-centric website for your business.
- It can be time consuming. Blogs are known for delivering fresh content on a regular basis. It’s important, then, that you keep your blog updated at least a few times a month with interesting news, information, and stories about your business. It will be more obvious if your blog isn’t updated if it’s the main part of your business’s website. On the other hand, visitors don’t expect an About page or a Services page on a website to change with any regularity.
- It may overshadow other important information. Focusing on your blog first and foremost may put other content on your website at a disadvantage. While it’s certainly a good thing that blogs bring in customers, you also want them to learn more about your company, what you offer, and what makes your product or service different. That may be overshadowed by a blog.
What to consider when choosing a blog vs. website
Feeling stuck between choosing a blog-centric website or a standard professional website? Here are some guideposts you can use as you make your decision.
- The type of business and its purpose: Different types of customers need different types of information to make the sale, and a blog vs. website makes a significant difference in delivering that information.
Let’s take an example of a handbag shop. A blog may be a great way to showcase coordinating outfits, ways to use the bag, or occasions where it’s appropriate to wear the bag. On the other hand, someone looking online for an emergency plumber is looking for a list of services and contact information — they are likely to skip over prose about pipes and drains. While a blog is certainly an excellent way for an emergency plumber to drive traffic to a website, it’s not the primary purpose of the site’s existence.
- Your overall marketing strategy: Do you plan to market your product or service with a lot of content, or does your target customer appreciate reading new and emerging information? A blog may be a great way to introduce your business to those audiences, and leveraging web designs that put your website’s blog front and center can help get the word out.
- The other website features you need: Does your business need other tools that a blog may not offer? For example, if you want customers to pay invoices online or log in to download manuals, a blogging platform won’t be able to offer that. However, a website with blog functionality can support both needs.
Blog vs. website: Do you have to choose?
As you explore your options, you likely won’t have to choose between a website and a blog. Adding a blog function to your website is not just easy, but commonplace, and you can quickly add this function to your existing website. With both functions available as possibilities, you can focus on creating a beautifully designed, easy-to-navigate website that acts like a natural extension of your brand.Namecheap’s Site Maker makes it easier than ever to be ready for prime time quickly and easily. The intuitive drag-and-drop builder makes web design accessible for newcomers, too, so you can start advertising your venture to the world in just a few steps. Build a beautiful website in minutes with a 14-day trial — get started today!