Do I need a blog or a website?

njmac

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
I have a small (local)business. I give private or group cooking lessons to people in my area. I have some flyers, but mostly get business word of mouth.

I'd like to make a website that has recipes, and how to cook lessons (freebies, not like the ones I do personally), some links and maybe some feedback about what people would like to cook.
For example I put up a flyer that said Learn to cook Italian, and I got an ok response. i'm hoping to put up a flyer, plus have business cards with my website... maybe listing a bunch of classes with the menu that I can show how to do.

Here's my question: Should I use a blog..... (I set one up... just to see what it was like at www.cookingofcourse.com. OR, should I have a regular website, with different links?

Also, some constructive feedback on the name. do you think CookingOfCourse is kind of corny? I never went by a pro name before, just cooking lessons by me
:D
 

idea_hamster

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2003
1,096
1
NYC, or thereabouts
JMHO, but...

If it were me, I would set up a regular home page with photos and contact information, etc. Then you can have a "What's New" or "Developments" link to a directory (www.cookingofcourse.com/blog) or subdomain (blog.cookinofcourse.com) that you update with the blog.

That way you can have a long-term home page design that gets updated from time to time as well as a more frequently updated news blog.

Since you haven't put lots of posts on your blog, it would be easiest to just delete your current blog installation and make a new installation in the new directory/subdomain. (I say easiest since my web host has Fantasico in the cPanel, making installation of WordPress (and a couple of others) a no-brainer.)
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,124
2
North Carolina
I agree that you need both, but I'd suggest keeping the blog as your main page. Then you can have links to whatever static information you want. You want people to keep coming back to your main page, so the best way to do that is to make it something that's constantly changing -- a blog. A blog can easily link to the permanent information about you and your business.
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
0
On a jet plane
Most blogging platforms make it very easy to create static pages on top of the regular blog "homepage".

I highly recommend WordPress. It's free, easy to set up and highly customisable. It'll do what you want.
 

idea_hamster

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2003
1,096
1
NYC, or thereabouts
wordmunger said:
You want people to keep coming back to your main page, so the best way to do that is to make it something that's constantly changing -- a blog.
Just a difference in taste, but I must respectfully disagree. Your home page should be designed for first-time visitors, not returning ones. To a first-time visitor, a blog is primarily text; to returning visitors, it actually isn't "always changing" -- it's still blocks of text. If the visitors want to come back to your blog over and over, they'll bookmark that page. My concern would be that a first timer would see it as immediately getting a homework assignment ("To use my site, first read pages 2 to 5...").

I also recommend WordPress -- and if you do want to use it as your home page, you might consider using the Random Image theme. You upload 10 (I think) different banner images and the theme will choose one of them. That will, in fact, give them something new -- different pics of your delicious dishes!
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
Thanks for all the responses.... I really like the Random Image idea from wordpress. I have wordpress on the site now, and I did buy a copy of RapidWeaver if I made it a website instead of a blog.

As for textpattern, that looks like a really great app, I'm downloading it now.

I'm hoping to get some content on the site within the next few weeks so I can start spreading the word.

one more thing though, about the name CookingOfCourse, Does anyone like it or hate it? I'm not so attached to it that I wouldn't change it if other people thought it was kind of a corny name. I do have another name in mind.... its a variation of the name: "The Main Course"
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
0
On a jet plane
I prefer "The Main Course" to "Cooking of Course".

Getting the domain is going to be a bit of a bugger though. Although themaincourse.com is available, I'm sure the owner is going to want a pretty penny for it.
 

idea_hamster

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2003
1,096
1
NYC, or thereabouts
I liked "Cooking Of Course" well enough that I wasn't going to recommend a change, but "The Main Course" is quite good! Punchy, pithy -- just what you need.

Good luck!
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
munkle said:
It works for me :)
Great, because I just registered it! I figured even if I don't use it, its only $6.00.....

Thanks for all of the input everyone.... you have made this experience easier for me! :D
 

highres

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2005
518
4
Near the Singularity
Homesite links to blogs are good because Google and other search engine spiders love to crawl blogs, and having links to legit blogs bumps up your Google page rank and makes it easier for people to find your site. Not sure if you want to drive more traffic to your site but this is a pretty standard NSO (Natural Search Optimization) technique. Also blogs are a good medium for people to get together and maybe trade recipes, ideas, or feedback...
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
asif786 said:
just a suggestion..have you ever thought of doing a podcast? it can be great fun..

i'm a vegan at times (on/off) but i just love listening to 'vegan cooking school' (http://www.vegancookingschool.com).

just a suggestion :) maybe try experimenting with the idea one day!

That does sound like a great idea. I think I will give it a shot. I am going to get my website up and running first so that maybe I can book some classes for the fall, then I will definately make a podcast!