The Most Important Difference Between Websites and Blogs

Big LEGO stormtrooper in the foreground and small C3PO figure in the back.

Website vs Blog: What’s the difference?

What is the single most important difference between “conventional” or “static” websites and blogs? Many people will probably reply

  1. Blogs are dynamic, websites are not
  2. Blogs encourage conversation, websites do not
  3. Blogs offer feeds, websites do not
  4. Blogs publish current news, websites do not
  5. Blogs create the blogosphere while websites are in a way standalone islands

Now you already might suspect where I’m at: All of the differences are not true (anymore)!

  • You have all kinds of websites which are enhanced in a way that they are not static but dynamic in their nature and I do not speak about static HTML vs PHP
  • Also you do not need a blog to lead a conversation. Asides from forums, wikis and all kinds of social media sites any site can add a comment form or a connection to a forum which will enable users to engage in a conversation and also engage you, the publisher, in one.
  • There are plenty of services which will create a feed for any website.

News sites like CNN or BBC are of course not blogs but they publish news and naturally the two are not the only ones.

Everybody can create a non-blog website that deals with the latest news, buzz or products.

While there is no extra sphere for websites, the so called blogosphere is not as tangible either anymore I would argue.

Nonetheless this is indeed a difference somehow. Is this the most important difference? No, it isn’t.

Stormtrooper walking a while in the sand.

That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

Blogosphere? “That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.” That can’t be it.

What is the most important difference between websites and blogs then? It’s about being up to date or timeless.

In other words it’s about being still valid. The info on a blog is expected to be valid at a certain point in time while the content on a website is expected to be timeless.

People visiting blogs often look at the date a post has been published to determine whether it’s still relevant.

Of course there are plenty of exceptions to this. Yet generally you assume that a website you visit that is not a blog and has no “published” date still contains valid information.

In contrast you will often not even read a blog entry after noticing that it was published two years or sometimes even 2 months ago.

When I started my SEO 2.0 blog I was surprised that my theme had the date removed from the posts. After realizing it I thought about it and decided to let the date to be hidden. Why?

I wanted my blog to both a timeless website and an up to date blog.

A few weeks later I published a post called 5 Dirty Blogging Tricks which covered this decision in a short sentence. This time I came up with an even better version of it and a new term: Blogsites combine the best of two worlds.

After almost 9 months of blogging at SEO 2.0 I was convinced that it was the right decision. Combining the advantages of websites and blogs is not as easy as I imagined though.

Two sztormtroopers standing side by side looking into the hazy distance of the desert.

Publish Less Polish More

You have either to refrain from publishing news or you have to find a way to deal with the fact that they are not timeless. You can:

  • Add a date in the content of the post: “As of November 2021 it has…”
  • Add updates to a post “Update 24th, November, 2021: The service has been discontinued by now”
  • Delete old posts or rewrite them.
  • Show the “last updated” date instead of the “originally published” one WordPress shows by default

Who wants to update existing content which gets rarely visited if it all? Well, I do it all the time! This post is an example of this content strategy.

You can also change the date and republish them on top. I do in case the changes and updates are significant enough.

This way you save some time by not posting a completely new article while also offering new insights, perspective or another update.

In short you can publish less fresh content and polish more existing content, especially when you have hundreds of articles published already like I am.

Which one of the two approaches do you prefer? Do you rather write throwaway blog posts that are only mean to be relevant for a very short time or do you write timeless pieces that only need some optimization down the road?

Do you combine the benefits of both and create evergreen blogsites?

Think about it and please add your opinion:

  • What dis/advantages do you think this combination of blogsites does have?
  • How else can you combine the advantages of both without doubling the workload?
  • Do you update or delete your old postings?
  • Am I right at all? What is the most striking difference between blogs and websites in your opinion?
  • Who will become the next president of the United States of America?