By now, you’re probably on board with the idea that your company should start blogging if it hasn’t already. Or, if you’ve already begun, you may be reconsidering where your blog should live. Questions have arisen internally such as: Are we getting the best SEO exposure? Do we have enough control over our data? Do we have a regular, automated backup routine with a schedule we set? Could our blog be better integrated with our company’s web presence and domain?
At the risk of over-simplification, there are essentially two ways to publish a blog. The first is hosted, which means hosted somewhere other than your server. Blogger by Google, TypePad, by Six Apart, and WordPress are the three most popular hosted blogging platforms. WordPress also offers a fully integrated option (WordPress.org).
The hosted solutions offer a feature called domain mapping, which will essentially mask the hosted solutions domain (i.e. myblogname.typepad.com) and instead display a domain that you control (i.e. myblogname.com). This can be a nice middle ground if you don’t have a server of your own or the technical resources to administer an integrated solution.
Integrated, means the blogging platform is installed on your own server and is part of your company’s domain either at a subdomain or a subfolder. This is the best option when possible, for the following reasons:
- The blog appears to your users to be a seamless part of your website. In many cases, the blog is actually part of the main website navigation. The visitor may be hopping from static pages to your blogging platform, but the switch is invisible. In the best cases, your website’s CSS is deliberately applied to each style class of your blog (body font, headings, dividers, leading, kerning, etc.).
- A blog can even serve as a content management system for your website, again seamless to your visitors, such as the Programs solution we implemented for Discovery World (see link below).
- Your blogging data is 100% yours and the server uptime/downtime/speed is dependent on no one but yourself.
- You can relatively easily merge the backup of your blog data with your normal automated backup routines.
- The blog is most closely associated with your website as far as the search engines are concerned. This of course, is because it truly is a part of your website. Domain mapping mentioned above while helpful for hosted solutions, but doesn’t pack the same SEO punch as full integration.
So, while a hosted solution may get you up and blogging within minutes, take some time to consider if a fully integrated solutions is important to your company and your website visitors.
Hosted Blogging Platforms
Hosted Blog Examples
- http://www.jaffejuice.com/ (uses domain mapping)
Integrated Blogging Platforms
Integrated Blog Examples
- The Molstad Consulting Blog (this one!)
- Discovery World Programs
- 37 Signals Product Blog
- Exact Target