View Full Version : WordPress Blog vs. Website Powered by WordPress

September 24th, 2009, 09:39 AM
Hello, fellow SSWTers,

I need your help!

Should I continue to build my WordPress blog or build a website powered by WordPress??? My niche for this site is health & fitness. This site has the potential to grow fast with a lot of pages, so I want to plan it out with the end in mind.

At this time, I cannot afford to invest in having a custom-designed site developed by a web designer. I plan to invest in DreamWeaver in the near future but I want to move things along with this site now. I NEED TO TAKE ACTION!!!!!

So, if you have any knowledge or firsthand experience with this issue, please share your thoughts with me ... the up side, the down side, the pros and cons, etc.


September 24th, 2009, 11:30 AM
A WordPress.com blog is fine for a completely noncommercial blog that you don't intend to invest too much of yourself in. Like any free blog service, however, you are completely at the mercy of the operators of the service. Free blogs do occasionally disappear without notice and from everything I have heard, WordPress.com seems to be more apt to do that than most. They seem to dislike any sort of business use of their service.

Setting up a WordPress blog on a paid hosting account is fairly easy and doesn't cost a whole lot. You can get a domain name for about $10 and set up hosting with something like HostGator or Dreamhost for $10-$11 a month. These hosts will let you install WordPress automatically and you will have a huge amount of web space to use as well. And you can place multiple site domains on the same host at no extra cost.

With your own WordPress installation, you can choose from a huge variety of themes and plugins. You can also modify them to suit your own needs. Most website operators eventually wish to place an opt-in box for a mailing list on their site. This is easy enough with a WordPress install. I'm not certain, but I don't believe WordPress.com allows this.

So, anyway, I'd say if your serious about blogging, go with a WP.org blog rather than WP.com.

Wade Watson

September 24th, 2009, 11:55 AM
Iris, one install of WordPress will do both blog and web site; no need to have to choose. I agree with Wade, use the .org version and get your own web host for that. :)

September 24th, 2009, 02:11 PM
Yes, I have my blogs set up under WordPress.org and they are hosted by HostGator.

Should I wipe out the WP blog and reinstall it in a subfolder so that it appears as a page in my domain with a static home page? Or, can I continue to build my site with many pages under this blog layout?

September 24th, 2009, 02:22 PM
Here's instructions on how to setup one WordPress installation to run in two different folders: http://codex.wordpress.org/Giving_WordPress_Its_Own_Directory

September 24th, 2009, 02:23 PM

Do you think this is a necessary step I need to do . . . set things up as a website with a blog page vs. just a WP blog? Do you think it's necessary???

September 24th, 2009, 02:25 PM
Iris, I think a blog is just fine and then you can always add pages on/to your wordpress blog.

September 24th, 2009, 02:32 PM
My new site http://yourwebtechteam.com is setup just as one WordPress.org install, with the core of the web site set up as WordPress pages, not posts. Pages are static, posts are dynamic - meaning they are automatically archived each month by month & year and they would scroll down to show the latest blog post first.

For static content, that you need easily accessible/easy to find within your site, use pages.

Blog posts are for articles, latest news or something like that. Pages of product, About or Contact pages are examples of content that would go on a page, not a post.

September 24th, 2009, 09:09 PM
Thanks, everybody for your feedback.

Traci, I think your site is the kind of setup I'm thinking of. I will check it out. Thanks!

September 24th, 2009, 09:41 PM
This is a question that I have been wrestling with as well. It seems that Lynn prefers to use html sites for her product oriented affiliate sites vs wordpress. However, clearly Traci is saying you can use wordpress to set up a site with static pages also. I am not sure I understand the pros and cons of which to use for affiliate marketing of products. Any thoughts?

September 24th, 2009, 11:06 PM
For me, the biggest advantage of using wordpress is that it's easy. Even though I've been around for a while and can do my share of stumbling through creating a (maybe) decent website, why do it if you don't have to? It's wordpress all the way for me.

September 24th, 2009, 11:20 PM
This is a question that I have been wrestling with as well. It seems that Lynn prefers to use html sites for her product oriented affiliate sites vs wordpress. However, clearly Traci is saying you can use wordpress to set up a site with static pages also. I am not sure I understand the pros and cons of which to use for affiliate marketing of products. Any thoughts?

I think it's personal preference. I also use html site for my main site and then WP for my blog. They both work!

Lynn Terry
September 25th, 2009, 05:08 AM
I agree on it being personal preference - go with what works best for you. A blog is a great addition to a traditional site as well, but like Traci said you can do both static pages & posts with WordPress.

The one thing I did not end up liking, in regards to affiliate marketing, was the affiliate datafeed plugins for WordPress. I found them hard to work with.

September 25th, 2009, 09:16 AM
Lynn, can you elaborate on exactly what you didn't like about the datafeeds. I don't even know what a datafeed is or how it works in html vs wordpress.

Lynn Terry
September 25th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Hi Tom,

Here's some good background on affiliate datafeeds:

They're not all the same. Some are tab delimited, comma delimited, etc - basically they are a like a text database of the entire product feed. They are most commonly used for physical product lines.

The datafeed files can be HUGE and difficult to work with. And since there is no real standard, most datafeeds need to be edited in order to work with your program - the program is needed to parse the datafeed into HTML output. The last one I had done had to edited by hand to work with the WordPress plugin (to drip products into posts over time) - it took hours. Of course, I outsourced it, but I've had to do it myself in the past too.

Obviously this still sounds easier than creating pages or posts by hand. That said, if very many affiliates take the "lazy way" and the same datafeed info is out there on numerous affiliate sites... well, that's not really adding value to the search results and so you suffer in the rankings.

Also, it can be a royal pain when the merchant udpates the datafeed. Which is necessary when they add or remove products, prices change, etc. If you used WordPress, you have to track down and edit or delete all of the posts that were created that contain bad info (if you don't you could get in trouble with the merchant). I find this much easier to do with HTML pages because I can bulk delete pages, put up a custom 404 page, and then work on the updates offline & reupload in bulk.

I prefer to create my pages by hand (or posts) and leave out pricing a lot of the time. I usually say "click here for price & availability" - then if it's not available they land on a "this product is no longer available" on the merchant site, which usually directs them to related products from there. Sounds like a lot of work to create the product pages by hand, and it is - but it makes for a more unique affiliate site than all of the others out there.

September 25th, 2009, 08:55 PM
Ok, well I have to say, this is over my head right now. I don't have any programming experience at all. This is one of the things that stumped me in the 2008 30dc, getting the ad to show up on the blog. What you are talking about here is just too complicated for me and I don't have alot of money to outsource. It looks like I should just pick a clickbank product and start a blog. I need to get some income started so I can pay for help and tools for these types of things.

Lynn Terry
September 25th, 2009, 09:02 PM
It's a little over my head too - like I said, I prefer to create good old fashioned HTML pages. LOL. Don't limit yourself to ClickBank. Definitely start a blog, but pick your product carefully and then start your blog on a topic that attracts the target market for those products.

If you need help setting up your blog, I have a checklist here:

September 25th, 2009, 09:24 PM
Unfortunately for me "good old fashioned html" is over my head too. :)

Lynn Terry
September 25th, 2009, 09:38 PM
LOL - It was for me at one point too :)

Back when I first started, the only program to even help was Netscape Composer. ACK :eek: It stunk! And trying to learn the code was madness for me at the time. The first employee I hired was a die hard Dreamweaver user and I refused to learn yet another way to do things (for about a year lol). It's a learning curve for ALL of us. I promise you none of us were born knowing how to do this stuff.

Of course, it seems to come a lot easier for my kids, who are now 13 & almost 18. So I'm outsourcing a lot of stuff to them these days :)

September 26th, 2009, 08:23 AM
Mastering DreamWeaver is on my "To-Do" list for goals to accomplish within the next 6 months. WordPress is so user-friendly and it meets all my current needs. I think knowing HTML and coding is definitely a plus if you have a blog or website. Even if you have the funds to outsource it, you are not at someone else's mercy when you need something done or changed immediately.

Learning HTML and coding also gives you more insight into what's possible in terms of creating a custom website.

September 29th, 2009, 07:09 AM
I use wordpress for all of my sites now. Some of them are blog format, others are just now getting to be a blog format and have hundreds of pages on them already.

We do have sales pages set up and those are straight sales pages I add to the hosting. The main one I can come up with quick is http://scrapfactsguide.com I bought domains for it, but those actually point to the subdomain on the site. The regular site is done in WP. I just put up the sales page in html

Other sites follow the same thing.

September 29th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Hi Iris, you can also try Kompozer.com as a free alternative to Dream Weaver. Not as comprehensive but can do the job and the price is right.

September 30th, 2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks, Frank and Val! Val, I'm going to check out your site and see if that's what I'm looking for. I really like WordPress and want to set things up right keeping the end in mind. I have some previous experience with DreamWeaver and will invest in it's latest version in the near future.

October 3rd, 2009, 06:59 PM
Thanks, Jeffery!

That's what I'm looking for . . . something that's user-friendly that I don't have to babysit 24/7!

October 3rd, 2009, 08:00 PM
I think whether you want to use Wordpress or not depends on what exactly you have in mind for the site. If you're going to be writing and posting a lot in the beginning, I would stick with Wordpress. Then as it becomes popular you can consider other options such as a full blown CMS - MODx or Drupal. But Wordpress lets you get started quick.

You can always download one of the new 'flexible' themes and set your home page to a static 'page' instead of a posts summary in the settings.

Reliable Website Maintenance (http://www.reliablewebsitemaintenance.com)

Nelson Swett
October 3rd, 2009, 11:17 PM

could you (or anyone else for that matter) elaborate on this for me please. I'm not sure that I follow you.

For static content, that you need easily accessible/easy to find within your site, use pages.

Blog posts are for articles, latest news or something like that. Pages of product, About or Contact pages are examples of content that would go on a page, not a post.


October 4th, 2009, 10:31 PM
In WordPress, you have the option of creating content withing "Posts" or "Pages". WordPress treats designated Pages a bit differently from Posts. Multiple posts will appear on the main blog page, as well as on separate pages from links. Pages only appear on their own and are accessed only from links on the site, such as a header bar.

WordPress was designed primarily for the blogging format, but it's not hard to use it as a static site by simple ignoring the blog features (Posts) and creating Pages. Under "Reading Settings" in the WP Dashboard, you can designate any Page to be replace the blog as the front page of the site. Then if you set up a nice index of internal links in the sidebar, you've turned it into a static website.

Wade Watson