Blogs & Static Websites - What's the Difference?

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blogBack in the day, there was generally one kind of website. You put up web pages manually and linked them together in an organized fashion either using HTML and CSS or software.

These are typically called static websites and it's what you're reading now.

This method requires more technical experience and people often paid people to create their websites because it was tricky for the average non-techie.

A blog is a special kind of website that is more flexible and much easier to setup.

This is the kind of site most people create today.

Blogs are dynamic, which means the content is called up by a script. As a result, the content is rendered in a certain order (by date or category) without any manual action on your part.

So when you visit a traditional blog, you may have noticed that the newest content is listed near the top and the oldest at the bottom.

If you choose WordPress, you can even use plugins to make the content display even more dynamically (i.e. display by most commented, etc.)

If you wanted to do this same thing with a static website, you'd have to manually add your latest content to your homepage using your software or by editing the code directly.

WordPress for Static and Dynamic Content

You can actually use WordPress to get the best of both worlds. Even though the platform is primarily associated with blogging (dynamically generated content), you can use it to build a more static layout as well. It will just take some modifications.

I developed a WordPress guide (tutorial) that shows you how to accomplish this.

Blogs are Easier to Setup, But...

Just because blog-like content is the default for WordPress doesn't mean you shouldn't alter the layout to fit how your visitors need to browse your content.

For example, it doesn't make sense for all sites to arrange their content by category or date. It would be hard to find certain information.

Many people make the mistake of choosing a blog format when they really need a combination of both blog-like content and static pages

For example, let's say you have a gardening website with basic, evergreen information on flowers.

This kind of content is not newsworthy so it may live on static pages that can be accessed from the main menu.

But let's say every month you write new content about flowers you've just planted. Your subscribers may love to keep up with this kind of info.

You could create a category in WordPress called "News" or "Recent Projects" so people can click that menu option and see your latest posts on that flowers you are planting.

WordPress will always list the newest post first.

Pages are best for evergreen content that doesn't need to be updated much. Posts are for newsworthy content that you arrange by category and date.

There is No Right or Wrong

A lot of people get stuck and can't decide which layout they should choose. But there is no right or wrong. Always think about what makes sense for how your content needs to be read.

WordPress is super flexible and you are free to arrange your content how you need to.

Discover how to create a WordPress site here.

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