Most people know that blogs are a great way to help users keep informed about topics of interest, and at the same time drive qualified traffic to the website. For this reason, search engines love blogs. Blogs with new material posted on a frequent basis that is relevant to the website will encourage search engine spiders to index the parent website more frequently. For many site owners, however, adding a blog can be a daunting prospect, particularly if their website is hosted with a provider with restrictive policies regarding new features.
It is usually advantageous from an SEO standpoint for add-on features such as blogs to be hosted at the same place as the main website. This is also a convenience if configuration changes need to be made, since everything is in one place. In some cases, however, it just is not possible for something like a blog to be hosted with a website. We have clients who have very restrictive hosting environments where installing additional functionality isn't allowed. An example of this could be an eCommerce website that is closely tied into the client's POS (point-of-sale) system. This is great for the client from the standpoint of maintaining the product catalog, tracking sales and inventory levels, etc., but not so good when it comes time to add unsupported functionality.
A workable solution is to host the blog in a different hosting environment, and link to it appropriately from the main website. The major search engines recognize this as acceptable practice. For those comfortable with making DNS changes, this is a matter of creating a sub-domain such as blog.yourdomain.com, where "yourdomain.com" is the URl of the main website. An A Record can be created in the DNS Zone that points this new sub-domain to the IP address of the server hosting the blog. The nice thing is that to the end user, this separate hosting of the blog is completely transparent. The blog is simply another navigation link on the website, and the fact that it is hosted separately really doesn't matter.
I am writing this to help website owners realize they have options when it comes to having add-on functionality such as blogs installed on their website. Even though your current hosting plan may not support the addition of a blog, it doesn't mean it is impossible to get one. In fact, adding a blog to almost any website is a relatively straightforward process, and the long term benefits can be significant.
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