Friday, October 31, 2008

Making A Website From Your Blog

Traditionally, setting up a web site is a lot of work.

You have to setup the infrastructure of the website, and you have to provide content for your readers to view. Setting up a blog is a lot easier, but a blog gives you the structure of an online journal, and will include details which may distract your readers.

Sometimes, you want to take a Blogger blog, and setup a web site. A blog is a web site with a dynamic home page ("main page"). Make the home page static, and you have a web site.

Using a blog, as a website, is easier than you would think - just identify the individual tasks involved.
  1. In Settings - Formatting, set Main Page size to "Show 1 Post".

  2. In the Blog Posts gadget, disable date, timestamp, and other features that make a blog post look like a blog post. Use your judgment here - this is your web site.

  3. Make a post for the home page. Publish it normally, then edit it and change the post date, to fall far in the future, and above any other posts.

  4. You can make a blog within your website, using a combination of custom redirects, and static pages.

  5. Publish some static pages, maybe using the new Blogger static pages editor. This is the essential step in getting a reputation for your blog or web site - publish interesting and relevant content for your readers.

  6. Link all of your posts in various ways. Here, you use your imagination.
  7. And, you now have a web site. But you'll never be done, because you have a web site that uses Blogger One Button Publishing, and you'll always find something to work on. I know that I do. This post isn't done, nor will it ever be done.

This is setting up the structure of the pages, which complements the attractiveness, and the content, of the pages. Just take it one step at a time - do what you can now, that's obvious to you now. When you get additional inspiration later, do that when it's convenient.

>> Top

18 comments:

Nadine Zanow said...

This is a great article and a wonderful site.

In setting up pages for a "website", can you comment about the setting of the archives, meaning, should it be set at "never", "a month", or does it matter?
Secondly, if one does not wish the archives section to be visible on the blog's sidebar, can you delete it and keep pages linked through the visible Link-List?

Thank you.
Nadine
www.nadinezanow.blogspot.com

Chuck said...

Nadine,

Two very intriguing questions, and probably each is worth a separate article some day.

Since the archive index is how many blog posts are located, archive frequency directly affects the granular size of any index listing, and how quickly you can find an individual article. So, it's a personal choice, based upon the desired results with respect to how often you intend to publish.

You are not required to keep an archive ndex. Some folks index their blogs using Labels, others don't index at all. With the layouts template, and the extended main page view, the readers can read the entire blog, sequentially (if backwards).

Want to discuss this at length, in a forum conversation?

The Campfire Shop said...

Perhaps this is just my newness coming through but isn't one of the advantage of Blogger that frequent posting tends to attract more traffic? Won't turning my blog into a static site tend to work against good SEO practice? How do I manage my blog so as to get SOME static pages but yet do the frequent posting to attract more traffic?

Chuck said...

Campfire,

More frequent posting increases the chance of more random traffic. You get more search engine reputation, and better SEO, by attracting more repeat traffic.

Turning your blog into a web site might work against SEO if the nature of your readers makes them prefer a blog rather than a web site.

Some people feel that a web site would fit their needs, others prefer a blog. It's your decision, based upon what you want and what you think your readers will want.

The Campfire Shop said...

What I'm after is using my blog to attract quality traffic to my Zazzle store. The blog is at Campfireplace.com and the store is at Zazzle.com/campfireshop*. Here's a question that could warrant a book's worth of response but what might I do that I haven't done yet to generate traffic? I've purposely left the description blank because I want to have a more finished site before I 'open to the public'.

Bornintheeighties said...

This has been useful reading - thanks!

Is it possible for me to change the layout/ ads etc on each individual page of my blog?
I want to make each page different.

Thanks

Chuck said...

The layout / ads etc are part of the template. One blog = one template. If you want different templates for different posts, make multiple blogs, each with a separate template, and combine the blogs.

Beauty Galleries ~ 美人馆 said...

Hi there! Thank you so much. Your blog is very informative and it helps to solve my big problem. Keep it up! I'll come back regularly for updated.

Maureen said...

This is helpful, but I am wondering how I would make this new post a separate page from my actual blog. Is there a way to give it a new url that I can link to?

Chuck said...

Maureen,

If you want a separate URL, setup a separate blog, or maybe a custom domain blog cluster.

If I'm misunderstanding you, why not post a question in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging? Peer advice may be what you need.

~ Aja B ~ said...

okay forgive me for my stupidity...lol...i am creating a "site" from my blog cuz its 10 bucks lol..so i have it someone set up thanks to u :) but i dont get the whole pages thing if you view my site www.ajablythephotography.com the tabs at the top how do i get seperate pages for each one......or in other words how do i have an about page or a contact me page

jitka a.a. said...

Hi Chuck, I found this page very useful, it helped me through first rocky steps towards a standard looking web page.

But I have some more difficulties - for example, I am not able to get rid of the 'older posts' link. Then though I tried to edit the html code directly I don't know how to change the font size of any of my page elements (like Blog Title) or adjust the size of 'Blog Title picture', make the links in 'Link List' un-underlined etc.

It would need more tiny detailed pointers here how to polish the page completely from the blog look for beginners like me. This is my so far un-public page www.oodleforkids.com, if you have any special advice.

Regards, Jitka

Gizmotracker said...

I have setup a blog in the Uk based on freebies. I want to link this to other pages. Fore example: Vouchers, Competitions, Bargains Deals. I can include other buttons next to the home button on my original blog as I removed these from the template because I did not know how to link them to other pages. So I actually have to code to put a menu at the top. But how do I link this to other pages? So I need to seyup a new blog for each individual link? Here si the blog: http://freebietrackers.blogspot.com/

Margaret Dore said...

I am asking again, since your last post on the subject was some ago, but does Blogger plan on ever allowing more than 10 pages? I noticed on your http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/ blog site you have 14 tabs on top alone. My client has topics by state. So essentially she would need 50 pages for those alone. Plain and simple: how can I get more than 10 pages on her blog site? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Chuck said...

Margaret,

The limit is 10 Static Pages / blog - and I'm not expecting that will ever change. My 14 tabs above include one link to a static page, one link to the Home page, and 12 links to other blogs and various miscellaneous links.

What you see is a simple linklist, which replaced the Pages gadget.

Your client can do the same - use a simple linklist with 50 label searches - 1 label search / state tab. The only limitation there will be how many tabs can you cram into the blog width?

Huisvrou said...

Can I create pages as parent pages and then have other pages ("not visible on tabs") linking within?

Chuck said...

Huisvrou,

You can link any static pages selectively, from the Pages gadget, and / or from other static pages, as you wish. So yes, using some static pages as "parent" and others as "child" pages should work just fine.

Simin Lakhani said...

Hey,
Am wondering if static pages can be changed into dynamic ones? And if so, how? I'm not clear on how to go about this. I've recently converted my blog into a site and I'd like my pages to have posts that show up on the home page as well. Is this possible and how?