I was recently asked by a visitor if she needed a web editor if all she wanted was to create a blog. This article deals with that query.
The short answer, for probably the vast majority of people (in most circumstances), is "no".
Many of these programs are installed on the website itself, and the bloggers typically log into their blog from their browsers and type their articles (often referred to as "posts") there. The blog software saves what they enter, and displays it for their visitors. In such a case, they do not need a web editor like Expression Web or Dreamweaver, since the blog software handles everything.
Blog software usually come packaged with a basic theme. "Theme" in this context, just means a particular visual design. For example, the theme used on thesitewizard.com (designed to allow readers to focus on the content) is essentially black text on a white background with a left column containing my logo and a navigation menu. Some blog software also provide a repository of themes on the developer's site, from which you can choose a different appearance and download it for use on your blog.
Apart from selecting a theme that someone else has made, most (if not all) blog software also allow you to do simple things like change the colours ("colors" in US English) on the theme, and add your own logo and pictures to customize the design.
If these facilities are sufficient for your needs, then you don't need a web editor to design your blog's appearance.
More advanced webmasters can either create their own themes or modify the files of a particular theme. I suppose in such a situation, you will need an editor of some sort, although some blog software allow you to edit the HTML and CSS used in theme files directly through the blog interface.
However, please note that the theme files used by a blog are not straightforward web files that you can design using a visual web editor. They typically include special directives that are neither HTML nor CSS, so that the blog software knows where to insert things like your posts. As such, if you are a newcomer, editing the theme files in this way may require you to learn additional technical stuff. If all you want is to blog, you may not consider this as something that is worth your time, and may prefer to just use one of the free themes provided on the developer's site.
Although most people use specialized software to write and maintain their blogs, if you think about it, blogs are just a type of website. As such, if you can create a website using a web editor, then there's nothing to stop you from starting a blog using one.
In such a case, you will have to type all your posts with the editor on your own computer, and then upload (ie, transfer) it to your site. This part of the process is no different from working on any other kind of website (ie, one that is not a blog). For example, for a tutorial site like thesitewizard.com, I write all my articles with a web editor before uploading them.
The problem comes if you want to allow your visitors to publish their comments underneath your post. For random strangers to be able to alter your web page in this way, there must be some sort of software running on the site itself, which these people can use to add their words to the page. You will either have to write such a computer program yourself, or install one that someone else has written. Which brings us back to square one: you might as well just use blogging software, since the latter does this out-of-the-box.
Of course, if your site is not one of those where comments are appropriate (or if you don't want them because you prefer not to have to monitor your posts to remove spam and other undesirable comments), then a web editor will do fine. In such a case, you can just use the usual way of designing and building a website.
Such blogs, built and maintained with a web editor, have their own advantages. They don't use as many resources on your web server and are faster to load. They also have fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited, since your web design software is not on the Internet along with your site. (For those who want more details, see The Pros and Cons of Using an Online Blog Software.)
For the majority of people, the most convenient way of starting a blog is to use blog software. It gives you all the facilities that bloggers typically need, freeing you to concentrate on the actual job of writing your posts. In such a case, you probably won't need a web editor.
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