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Why Your Next Website Should Be a Blog

By: Gary Ruplinger
Blogging has sure come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1994. Heck, the word blog didn't even exist until 1999. And while the first blogs were simply public, online diaries, these days blogging platforms have become extremely powerful content management systems.

There are many advantages to blogs over custom coding your own website that will make you want to seriously consider making your next website a blog.

Advantages of a Blog

1) Interactivity

The biggest advantage of a blog is that it's interactive. That's what this whole "web 2.0" movement is all about anyway, and blogs have been a big part of that. When you make a blog post, other people can comment on what you've written and add to, ask a question, or give a different point of view from what you've written.

It's a great way to keep your pulse on your target market. And while it shouldn't be your primary concern, the fact that other people can comment on your posts means that your content gets updated and enhanced without you needing to do any work. And frequently updated content is something the search engines loves (just look at Wikipedia).

2) Easy to manage

Another thing I've really come to love about blogging is how easy it is to make changes. I don't need to open up an html editor, download the page, and then reupload the page just to make a simple change.

I remember avoiding updating websites for months at a time because I knew I had to make global changes which meant I'd have to go in to each page individually and update it.

With a blog, everything is done from a central control panel. You don't need anything more than an Internet connection to get into your blog and update a page. It's especially great if you're new to having a website, but even experienced webmasters can appreciate its simplicity and ease of use.

3) Organization

Through the use of categories, tags, and pages, it's very easy to organize your blog into a website that is extremely user friendly. And what if you have a topic that belongs in multiple categories, just check a box and put it into as many categories as you think are appropriate.

Also, just about all blogging software these days comes with built in search functionality which is great for your users if they're looking for a blog post but can't remember when you posted it or what the title was.

4) Plugins

One of my favorite features of blogs is plugins. These are little programs that are designed to enhance the functionality of your blog. For example, there are plugins that can automatically pick a few related blog posts you've written and put that at the end. There are plugins make it easy for people to "tweet" or "digg" your most recent post.

Just about anything you want to to with a blog can probably be easily added with a plugin if you can't already do it.***

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