One important thing I learned in a recent project to create a website for a small non-profit is that a blog is very similar to a website whose main objective is to share a knowledge base. When I started, I was thinking about websites as a group of pages, each with a different topic. In fact, I started the project by trying to recreate their old site in a new technology – bad idea. I needed a mental shift to realize that blog software was already most of the way there.
The scenario I wanted was that there would be a welcome page with some way to get to additional technical information. Users would need the ability to search for what they want since there would be too many articles for anyone to wade through even by title. Ideally, there would be a way to categorize things and make those categories obvious so someone could see articles about specific high level subjects without having to search for specific terms. Conceivably, the result of a category pull would be more efficient than a full text search given that the original author would have purposefully categorized the article in a specific way.
The mental shift here is that this is really the exact thing that a blog is, particularly since you can, at least with WordPress, define a static home page and a separate page for “discussions”. The articles become different categorized posts where the same page is displaying information stored in a database which then makes full-text search simple.
Yes, I still have a few static pages but only because one might expect to have specific menu items that lead to specific information, i.e. contact information, officers lists, association bylaws, etc. In general, though, almost anything in this type of site can be done through a typical “post”.
As for menu structures, WordPress already supports this as do other blogging software packages. They need them to differentiate the discussion pages from the typical “About” page to describe the blogger.
So, it looks like blogging software can be used to create reasonable web-sites. Makes me smile.
What do you think?