From Blog To Site

I cleared all my cookies and website history from the browser. That meant that when I opened WordPress.com, I saw the page that new visitors see (and which I rarely see).

This is what I saw, and I noticed that it says:

Build your beautiful site today. Everything you need for a website that works for you.

I think that a couple of years ago it would have said Build your beautiful blog today.

It got me thinking that some people may not know precisely what the difference is between a site and a blog. Maybe there isn’t a strict demarcation between the two, or maybe there is.

Let’s have a go at clearing up the mystery 🙂

The word blog is a shortened form of weblog, which is a way of describing content set out in chunks (posts) in reverse chronological order with the newest content at the top.

A feature of WordPress built into blog posts is that they encourage engagement by allowing readers to comment on the chunks of content (the posts).

What you may not know is that the coding structure of blog posts is built into the heart of WordPress.

Blog posts are one of several kinds of ‘post type’.

Yes, blog posts are a post type, but also images are a post type; the navigation menu is a post type; pages are a post type.

Blog posts are built into the heart of WordPress.

So what is a website, as opposed to a blog?

In WordPress, there can, of course, be pages of information. And if there isn’t a running weblog as well, then it is a website, but it is not a blog.

And if there are pages and a running weblog, then it is a website with a blog built into it (like this site – Photographworks.me)

And if there are only posts and no pages, then it is a blog and only a blog.

From Blog to Site

WordPress now presents itself as a way for people to build websites:

Build your beautiful site today.

Further down the page of WordPress.com, it says:

Impress your visitors
Set up an elegant and unique site that will build your brand with ease. Work with thoughtfully chosen fonts, colors, and images — or add your own.

WordPress is trying to attract a different audience than previously. It is trying to get away from the idea that WordPress ‘is just a blogging platform’

And it is absolutely true that WordPress is not just a blogging platform, although blogging is built into the heart of WordPress.

With added code, WordPress can be all kinds of things – a shop, an affiliate shop, a scheduling system for professional services, a directory, a forum, a venue to fundraise, and so on.

Here’s a testimonial that’s highlighted on the WordPress page:

Refocusing our business meant an extensive rebrand and rename. WordPress.com made it easy to implement the changes we needed for a social media first impression.
—Jeri

And then the page sets out the plans – personal/premium/business – with prices. And lower down and less prominently it says:

If you just want to start creating, get started with a free site and be on your way to publishing in less than five minutes. Start with free. Includes a WordPress.com subdomain, community support, dozens of free themes, basic design customization, and more.

Back in the day when I started this blog, website, blog, I am pretty sure that the stress was on the idea that blogging with WordPress.com was free.

Here is what WordPress.com looked like in 2007, when I started this blog site. I put a red rectangle around the sign-up bit and you can see the word ‘free’.

WordPress in 2007

The visuals have come a long way, haven’t they!

Can I Use The WordPress App Offline

Can I use the WordPress app offline? Well, I can type, and I see that the autosave feature is telling me that ‘Saving of draft failed’ Strange language: I would expect something like ‘Draft failed to save.’

So… what happens when I go back online? Wil it post this when I hit publish, or will it lose the text?

WordPress App For Desktop

I decided to download the WordPress app for Mac. I am typing this on the app. I am not sure I see the advantage of using it because I am going to go to the website to see that everything looks OK – so I could just as easily type there.

Maybe if I use it more I would gain trust and just believe that it looks OK on the site.

Here’s a screenshot of what the app looks like. One thing, when I was adding the image, I couldn’t see any way to choose how the image would be inserted. How can I choose to display it in the centre and full size? What if I wanted it to display left and smaller size, or right?

I have the answer. When I click on the image once it is inserted on the page, little handlebars appear and I can drag the size of the image dynamically. And there is a little menu bar with options to click left, right, etc. That is how images behave with Gutenberg in the self-hosted version of WordPress.

wp-desktop-app

This app will also let you post to any self-hosted sites you have that have Jetpack installed, so the app can be a ‘control centre’ from which you can post to several sites.