What is a blog and what is a website?

October 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Blogging, Clients, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media | Comments Off on What is a blog and what is a website?

Recently I was asked this question and here I will try and answer the question as best as I can.

A blog is updated regularly but then again so is a website!  Actually I don’t think that there is any difference they are both used to give information, sell products, keep people up to date with events and so on.  I think that it comes down to the layout which creates a difference and our perception.

I think that initially blogs were simplified versions of websites which were designed to be quick to update and show the updates in a clear diary style.  Our perception is that they should be updated regularly.

Blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr have a certain style in that they list the entries in a diary style, they have tags and categories which can be used to navigate to articles (in addition to a menu) and they have the ability to allow comments.

Looking at this blog, you can see that there is a menu at the top of the page. On the right hand side there is a list of recent posts, a list of months which shows when updates were made,  a category list (when you write a post you will put it in a category) – this is great as you can click on “mobile devices” for example and it will list all the posts in that category.

WordPress has managed to straggle quite successfully the world of blogs and websites and their sites can be developed to look like websites and not like blogs and is very popular.  In fact, I read somewhere that 1 in 6 websites are powered by WordPress.  That is also a bad thing, as it is so popular it is an obvious target for hackers so WordPress are constantly updating their software.  This is the same issue for all public content management systems, eg Joomla and Drupal.  So you need to keep on top of all updates and make sure the your site is securely hosted.

WordPress is an excellent platform and is used by millions of many people there is multiple places to go for “help” eg books, YouTube videos and forums.  It is easy to use and set up.   And there are two versions…

wordpress.com

Advantages

  • It is free and easy to set up.
  • You get 3GB of storage but you can buy more if you need it..
  • There are over 200 ready made templates to choose from and you can change the template whenever you want – if not more.
  • Your data is stored on WordPress servers, which are very robust, they back it up, protect is from spam, update the software etc.
  • Easy to update.

Disadvantages:

  • The domain name includes wordpress.com for example: wordpress.com.
  • they add adverts to your site but you do not get a say in what adverts, so this is where you pay for a ‘free’ website.
  • There are over 200 ready made templates to choose from so someone may have a site that looks similar to yours. So it is not bespoke.
  • You are confined to the design.
  • No support apart from forums. 

(Information is correct to 2nd October 2015)

Paying WordPress

You can buy your domain name from WordPress so it would appear without ‘Wordpress’ in the extension.

Advantages

  • You get 13GB of storage.
  • No adverts
  • Ability to alter the templates eg colours, font.
  • Upload video (on the free package you would have had to upload to YouTube or Vimeo and embed the video).
  • Email support.
  • Your data is stored on WordPress servers, they back it up, protect is from spam, update the software etc.
  • Easy to update.

Disadvantages

  • You have to pay WordPress and if you want to change the fonts etc you may have to pay someone to develop the site to make it look as you want .
  • You are not able to develop the site any further, if you wanted you would need http://www.wordpress.org.

(Information is correct to 2nd October 2015)

wordpress.org

The software package is downloaded to your computer or uploaded directly to an Internet Service Provider’s server and you use the framework to design a website.

Advantages

  • The software is free
  • There are all sorts of plugins designed by enhance your website. Most are free.
  • Customise your own template, bespoke design, can grow as your business and traffic grows.
  • Free to choose the host ISP.

Disdvantages

You are responsible for:

  • Installing and setting up your WordPress site.
  • Regularly updating your themes and plugins (remember those hackers).
  • Updating your WordPress version when new versions roll out (remember those hackers).
  • Keeping your site secure for your visitors and protecting your site against hackers and spam.
  • Backing up your whole site regularly in case it.
  • Resolving problems with your site and server if they arise

(Information is correct to 2nd October 2015)

Hosts

Ideally you choose a host who will take some or all of these points, which of course is reflected in their price.  Some companies offer 10GB of bandwidth for about £25 per year but you have to take on the responsibility of updating the website.  However managed packages, where the ISP (Internet Service Provider) takes on the responsibility of updates and even setting up the site for you charge from £4.99 per month to £20 per month.  So it is definitely worth shopping around.

The Solutions Factory and WordPress

 

We do not offer a development package for WordPress there are plenty more developers out there who would make a much better job of it than us.  However, if you do go down the route of having your website developed through WordPress.org you will need to make sure you know who is responsible for updates and back ups.

We use the free wordpress.com system as you can see, although we’re not a regular bloggers as you can tell!).

The other features which I like about this free system:

  • com takes care of the security updates and the backups. But if I was worried about my articles I would keep a copy on my own machine.
  • When you ‘press’ an article it is also publish on the “Freshly Pressed” WordPress site which bloggers who are signed in can see. More people see your post!
  • People can follow your blog and receive automatic email when you create a post.
  • You can reblog other people’s blogs – easier than writing yourself and your audience gets to see what’s important  to you.
  • The site is simple, we don’t need any plugins such as photo sliders.
  • We are not too worried with our brand, we have our own website so there is no problem with using the .wordpress.com extension.
  • As it’s free, it doesn’t matter if we don’t use it for 3 years!

 

The above essay has been written as someone asked me the question.  This is not the opinion of The Solutions Factory Ltd but of the author.  This is not a recommendation and information is correct to 2nd October 2015.

Lesley Parker

 

Introducing the new kid on the block… Pinterest

March 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Clients, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Design | Comments Off on Introducing the new kid on the block… Pinterest

I came across Pinterest a few months ago via Twitter.  I wasn’t sure about it at first and with so many of these social media sites the best thing for me to do is join and have a go. So, I did.  Oddly, if you join you have to wait 24 hours or so for your invite!  It sounds extraordinary in this day and age but if you are invited by an existing member it’s quicker. Anyway once I signed in and started playing around with the site, even reading the instructions, I realised that this was not about saying what you had for lunch or where you had been but about interesting visuals – photos and videos of posters, fashion, design, architecture, interiors etc, etc, etc.  It’s a website for what people put on their pinboards, not on their wall at home but on their computer on the web where everyone can see it. Interesting as whatever you have pinned, could become viral.  I eventually found a lovely blog which describes what Pinterest is and how to use it: http://www.2wired2tired.com/what-is-pinterest-tutorial.

Of course, this is a business opportunity, as way of driving traffic to your website, if you have a visual business that is.  When someone pins the photo from your website to their board, your web address is also displayed. Other people on Pinterest could ‘like’ or even ‘repin’ the image and of course they may follow through and go to your website and then it’s up to you and the content which you have on your website.

So how do we make people pin something from your website?  I have a gadget called ‘Pin it’ in my browser window (I’m using Firefox) which when I click on it, the website changes so that it displays just the images on the page. I then click on the one I want on my pinboard and, once I’ve logged in, it appears on my pinboard.  Social Bookmarks are now including Pinterest to their choices too, something which can be added to every page of your website.  Or, if you have a Pinterest page of your own you can add a ‘Follow me on Pinterest’ plus link on your website.

There are some great ideas for marketing using Pinterest: http://www.copyblogger.com/pinterest-marketing/

I think that Pinterest is fun, and is great to look at.  It is certainly more interesting than Google+ which has so far proved to be very disappointing.  In comparison to Pinterest it is too complicated to use and complicated takes too much time.  I hope to persuade some of our existing clients to use it as it might be beneficial to them.

JonJu Tech Ltd website is live

January 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Clients, Joomla Design, Search Engine Optimization | Comments Off on JonJu Tech Ltd website is live

We recently launched a new website for JonJu Tech Ltd a  which helps design and development of electronic products.  JonJu Tech wanted a very clean, simple looking website which is easy to navigate and is optimised for search engines.

JonJu Tech were really pleased with how, once they had some training, they could easily update and edit their articles and add pictures.  They also loved being able to add the page description which appears in the html code and is very important to SEO they can also add keywords which are not so important.  This gives the user real power to control the content for their customers and for search engines.

Jon Ju Tech also sent me pdfs of handwritten notes which they wanted their customers to be able to comment on. So I found a plugin and component from the Joomla extensive extensions directory and I was able to embed the pdf with a comment system below. I think it’s a good solution and you can see it if you got Knowledge Base / Design Decoded Notes and then click on the one the subjects in the list.

See their site at http://www.jonjutech.com/

Welcome to the Solutions Factory Blog*

April 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Design | Comments Off on Welcome to the Solutions Factory Blog*
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*Actually this is the blog for the web design department of the Solutions Factory.

The Solutions Factory is a software development company with a small web design section who have decided to have a blog.  Well, we keep telling our clients about using social media, so thought that it was time that we dipped our toes into the waters.

This blog will be used to experiment with social media, highlight interesting stuff about search engine optimization and about web design.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

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