A Blog Is A Blog But Is Also A Website Or Is It?

A few days ago I posted something to give a little definition to the question is a blog a website, is a website a blog, or?

Today I came across this interesting discussion:

… It’s easy to confuse blogs with plain old personal sites, especially if you only consider blogs as an online diary of telling whoever cares what you did and ate that day. Blogs have already evolved into so much more. It can be a recipe center, a wedding guide, a tech news and reviews journal, or a sports reportage—all written with a personal touch. Considering blogs as simply a “Dear-Diary-this-is-what-I-did-today” aspect of a personal site is just so… outdated… read the rest of this interesting blog versus website argument and them come back and get the real word from dear old Dave.

Because I am writing a lot that’s oriented to beginners I thought I would define what I mean when I use some of these common terms here.  You may agree with me, disagree with me or come down somewhere in between … these terms are not offered up as an argument, but as a frame of reference so you know where my head is at.


This is a term which I shall define thusly … a physical presence on the Web (normally computer-readable code) that resolves (shows up) in a web browser when called for (surfed to).  The reason for a website’s existence is completely at the discretion of the owner or "webmaster" of the site … anything from a one-page "Hello World" code example to cnn.com … all are websites.

If a website exists for no commercial purpose it is likely to categorize it as a"personal" website, but having a commercial purpose does not make it non-personal … personal and commercial are artificial constructs loosely defined by the gal to make money and are more defined by the "eye of the beholder" than any particular technical attribute.

Of all the myriad things which a website can consist of, one possible component is a blog.

Blog or Weblog:

A "coined" word derived from the term "binary log" which was originally intended to define the practice of a website owner or personal authorized by the owner to write in a diary or journal style format … perhaps about what happened personally, about their job, about technical items, news, politics … anything at all, given the loose definition of the writings being made by one or more identifiable writers and the subject matter being updated on a regular basis.

Note that I am not yet talking of any specific software or any concrete style of blogging … Blogging is, in effect a concept while a website is a definable technically viable thing.  Note that my two examples above and many other "blog style" web sites do not always define themselves as "blogs" … indeed in the days before "blog" was a popular term I had a reading list of more than 25 different "blog style" websites that defined themselves as "Daynotes" site … sites where the owners posted approximately daily notes about their day.  Some today would now characterize themselves as bloggers, others avoid the term with enthusiasm.

So a website may or may not be updated personally on a regular basis … and if it is updated personally in a diary or journal format it is only a blog if the author/owner/administrator calls it a blog.

Obviously, none of this happens without, in a addition to a person or persons operating a website, one or more pieces of software to enable the operators or operate.

Content Management Systems (CMS):

Some may blink when they read this … but hear me out … I haven’t gone completely crazy.  there is a constant undercurrent of argument … even at times pontification as to what the difference between blogging software and a content management system is.  I’m going to say this … there is no inherent, underlying difference.  A CMS (great CMS resource here, by the way).  A CMS is again a technical, physical thing, a piece of software that makes updating a website … managing the content of that website, more simplified and semi-automated.

If you choose to visit the site referenced above you’ll note that for purposes of organization and manageability the owners have sub-divided content management systems into a number of sub groups, one of which is called by the name Blogs.

Just as a website may consist of or include as a portion of its content a diary, journal or blog as defined by the author, a subset of the overall spectrum of CMS software is a special purpose CMS designed to manage the contents of a blog … a blogging system.

Blogging Systems:

This is what many bloggers are talking about blogging software.  WordPress, as one common example, is a blogging software system.  There are many, many others.  They are specifically designed to mange the authoring, uploading, editing and categorization of content for one or more blogs on one more websites.  Notice that earlier we were talking about blogs in terms of their concept and purpose, here we are talking about the finite physical thing that is the software used to "build" blogs.

So now that I have expended a lot of words and you have been kind enough to read them, you now know a little bit about what makes the ‘net "click" and why a website is a website, a blog may be the basis for a website and "content is king" and special purpose content management systems are what the majority of us use to publish … blog or no blog

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