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  • I am truly a novice when it comes to this. I am looking to start a website and am trying to determine whether it should be a blog or a full blown site. My work uses a Word Press website so I’m a bit familiar with posting. My site would need to include daily postings, place for people to post comments/questions that only I would see, potential for podcasts, ad space as well as extensive archeives that are easy to access.

    As someone who doesn’t even know what an RSS feed is, what would you all advise as far as setting something up? Would it be easy to switch from a blog to a website if my site grew or would that ever be necessary?

    I know that’s a lot of questions, but I’m sure someone out there knows the right path…Thanks much!

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You raise an interesting question for us novices. At my hosting site, I have a subdirectory off my root directory called “WordPress”. This is where I have WordPress installed and where the content of my blog is. I don’t yet have anything else in the root directory of my domain except for “cgi”, “php_uploads”, and “stats”. I assume these were automatically put there when I purchased the domain and hosting at GoDaddy.

    I have just assumed if I build a website separate from my blog, it will just go in the root directory and I can link to the WordPress directory from that website. With technology, I tend to think things through very logically, as opposed to having actual knowledge and experience, and sometimes that gets me into trouble!

    Maybe someone with expertise will come along to answer your question and say whether my approach is correct or the best one.

    Actually, you can use WordPress for both. If you want to *start* with a blog, I would recommend putting WordPress its own directory. If you ever decide to have a “Regular” site, with static pages, then WordPress can handle that for you. You can open with an “index” page on your root by moving your index.php file to the root and linking to your blog header file. Then WordPress can be used as a CMS (I set up wordpress as a CMS all the time for clients – they never blog, but just use wordpress to manage the site’s content.) You don’t need to separate WordPress from your static site – WordPress can do all of that for you.

    By the way, RSS is already set up in WordPress – you don’t have to do anything.

    Very interesting doodlebee. I would have to think about that for a while. I am just transitioning over to WP and love it so far. But the idea of using WP to make a website with a variety of different pages and maybe even a shopping cart does not click with my novice brain right away!

    I guess if someone was to use something like Expression Web or DreamWeaver, then it would be best to have WordPress in it’s own directory and just link to it from the website created with EW or DW?

    Thanks for your notes – problem being I kind of don’t know what you’re talking about. “Index page on my root: and moving indel to blog header file….perhaps I don’t understand it b/c I havent’ set anything up yet? I also don’t know what a CMS is.

    But it sounds like what you’re saying is just start with a WordPress blog…and a blog format can handle all of the stuff I listed? Ads, podcast,place for people to post comments/questions that only I would see, extensive archeives that are easy to access?

    I guess if someone was to use something like Expression Web or DreamWeaver, then it would be best to have WordPress in it’s own directory and just link to it from the website created with EW or DW?

    You can, if you want to, but it’s not necessary. And if you *did* do that, then anytime you changed a link on the static site, you’d have to go in and change it in WordPress.

    I find it’s easier to just design the site and lay it out however I want (if you use Dreamweaver or whatever to do that, great – I don’t, so I’m not familiar with the program). Then once I get it looking how I want, I “wordpress” it. Just bring the the code to the spots I need it, this making my own custom theme.

    WordPress creates posts and Pages (note the capital “P”) – Pages are static, posts are what you would think of as “blog entries” (but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s ONLY what they can be used for).

    Really, that’s all you need to do.

    As for a shopping cart, it depends on what kind you want. If you’re doing something simple, then WordPress has a a shopping cart plugin you can use. If you plan to use ZenCart, then you should do everything through ZenCart and use the WordPress contribution that comes with ZenCart (I’m currently working on a site for a client that does exactly this). I don’t know about other shopping carts – but I know that, with ZenCart, if you’re shopping and move out of the ZenCart area, then you lose your cart items. However, with WordPress *in* and hooked up to it, then you can easily move in and out and not lose anything.

    But anyway, it all depends on what you want. But for the “static site vs. blog” – you can roll it all into one with WordPress. No need to create a separate site and link to the blog – it’ll handle everything for you.

    thanks! So it sounds like I can start with either a blog site or register for a static site (with a “blog” type page on that site) The static site being just a bit more complex in setting up?

    I can start with either a blog site or register for a static site (with a “blog” type page on that site) The static site being just a bit more complex in setting up?

    No..hmm..I’m wondering how I can make this clear to you.

    If you want to “register” for a site, you can go to and get a blog account. You’re limited on what you can do with it, and it’s meant for blogging. However, you mentioned that work uses WordPress, so you’re familiar with how to use it to post and such. So I’m going to assume – for the rest of my attempted explanation – that you want to have your own host, with your own domain name, and you’re going to install WordPress on your own server and customize it however you need to.

    If the above is wrong, then ignore the rest; but if it’s the right assumption…

    A “static” site is your basic, run-of-the-mill website. You code out your pages, write your content and do all of that in whatever program you want to create your site. It’s called “static” because it doesn’t change, unless you physically make changes within the file itself and then re-upload and rewrite *everything* on the page – from Doctype to closing body tag.

    “Dynamic” is when certain parts are the same, but other parts change as it obtains information form a database. Dynamic sites are great to use because 1) you can do something as simple as a blog – which is the most common and understood part of “dynamic” sites….you write a post, click save, and the site is instantly updated. However you can also take that same technology and 2) use it to manage your entire site seamlessly.

    For example, say you have a site that has no interest in blogging. The client has no clue what “HTML” is, much less what to do with it. With a static page, and allowing the client access to update their own site’s content, you *always* run the risk of them deleting something important that will destroy the sites’ layout – or even worse, functionality. Also, if you have a 100 page site, with the same navigation on each page, you hope to hell no one wants to add a link, or you’re spending your Saturday changing 100 pages of code.

    Using something like WordPress allows you to create static Pages (“Write Page” in the admin area) to your site. You can use WordPress to handle the layout of the entire site (by taking your design and splitting it up and “wordpressing” it into a theme). Categories and Pages can be automatically generated and listed on the site as you see fit. If you change or add a link, it’ll change *sitewide* with a click of a button. You can go in and edit the content of your static Pages with no worries at all that someone will delete or mess with something they shouldn’t.

    So when you say “register” for either a blog or a static site – no. You get both, already built in, already done. It all just depends on how you code it.

    If you want to *start* with a blog, that’s why I suggest you place WordPress its own directory, one level below root. Later on, if you decide to built a static site as well, you can still use WordPress to build *around* the blog. You will not have to do anything more than move one file. (And of course, depending on the look of your site, you’ll have to code it out as you like.) But blog OR static; or bloag AND static – you have it either way, already built in. It’s all just a matter of how you lay it out.

    I hope that made some sense to you…

    if you plan to do a site it helps to think about the purpose of the site, who is going to maintain it, how often will it change.

    if the site can remain untouched for a year or more, and it is maintained by the creator (designer/programmer) of the site, it makes little difference how the site is built. the site just sits there for awhile and it can be refined or completely redone by a person knowledgeable in web design.

    if a site needs to be updated a lot, or there is a lot of content, whether it is products, names/addresses, it makes sense to create a site that helps manage all this information (cms = content management system) for example, and is easy to change – by anyone, not just a skilled professional. in this case you build a site that is built around a database and you can build an interface where even the bookkeeper can add content without destroying the look and feel of the site.

    if a site aims to “interact” with people, where many end users can input content,you again need a database and a design that is easily maintained and easy to interact with.
    you can build this interactive site from scratch or you can save time and build one that a lot of people already have built an “engine” that is built strictly for interactivity on the internet.

    here is a site that was built on a database that can be updated by a non-designer and is now adding a blog link/blog engine to it soon =

    more and more sites are interactive now = which i think of as a blog engine site. there is a lot of upside to start a site using a blog-type engine.

    hope this helps.

    Just going at this from a different angle – no amount of explanation in the forum can substitute for just getting WP installed somewhere and seeing how you go. All the questions and answers seem clearer then. 🙂

    Just as a follow up to anyone searching and finding this thread. The above explanations are great. I addition last week after reading this thread, I also found the following page in the Codex that explains some of this.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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