‘Should my blog be on my website?’ A much asked question that will have differing answers depending on who you ask. At The SeedMill if you ask us we will always say: “Yes, yes, and absolutely YES! Your blog should most definitely be on your website.” But ‘Why?,’ I hear you ask. ‘What’s wrong with having a website that links to a blog being hosted elsewhere? Does it make that much of a difference if my blog and my website are not hosted together?’
There is nothing ‘wrong’ per se with having a blog hosted in one location and a website hosted in another, just like there is nothing ‘wrong’ with having a virtual office and pretending that it is your actual office location. There are, afterall, pros and cons with every business decision we make. With the virtual office versus actual the office location example, some of the pros are that you do not have to list your home address on your business correspondence and that your company can appear larger than it actually is; whilst one of the cons is that it’s not quite being truthful to your clients and customers. But this is okay if you are happy with this decision – that is for you to decide.
When it comes to the question of whether your blog should be on your website, as I stated above there is nothing ‘wrong’ with having your website hosted in one location and your website in another location, but we (The SeedMill) most definitely wouldn’t recommend it and we certainly don’t advise it for our own clients. From our experience it does make quite a bit of difference when it comes to how your website is seen from the viewpoint of your target audience and how it is found through search engine results. I believe you can summarise the reasons for hosting your blog on your own website into two areas – let’s take a look at the first one below.
1. You have full control of the design, layout, branding, content, etc.
First and foremost, you are in complete control of your website and all of its content. You decide how and when your website is updated and you have full control over it’s look and feel. Often when a third party hosts your blog (e.g. WordPress.com, Blog.com, Tumblr.com, Typepad.com to name a few examples), your blog will have a different look and feel to that of your main website. However slight the difference (and often the difference is more than slight) the experience is jarring to the visitor and does not offer the branding consistency that hosting your blog on your website does.
By hosting your blog on your own website, you are also not at the mercy of the third party’s Terms and Conditions which can be changed at any time that suits them. This will ensure that you maintain control of all copy, imagery and branding that you upload to your website / blog at all times and you are not affected by another company’s changes in their terms and conditions when it comes to what is / isn’t allowed on their blogging platform.
Essentially you have full control over your website / blog branding and you set the standards for how professional this image appears. You do not have to have a tagline that reads “powered by …”, as you do with many of the free (or fairly cheap) blogging platforms available, and you can ensure that the branding and content on your website and blog remains consistent and appropriate to your business appearance and the image that you wish to portray.
We think that this first area is more than strong enough to stand alone as a reason for housing your blog on your website but we will take a look at the second area in my next post – available here.