Anatomy of a blog

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Exploring a few blog sites

In this subsection we will explore a few blog sites to identify the structural components and features used by blogs.

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Comparing the structure and components of educational blog sites
  1. Conduct a web search for "top education blogs"
  2. Visit two or three of the blogs which attract your interest and consider the following:
    • What is the name of the blog?
    • How are the individual blog posts listed?
    • Does the blog have links to an archive or list of recent posts?
    • Try and navigate to a number of earlier posts
    • Try and find posts which include comments, read a few of these comments
    • Establish who is publishing the blog posts
    • Is there an RSS link? If so click on this to see what happens.
    • Do any of the blogs you visited have a blog roll?

Figure 1: Anatomy of a blog
Many blog sites will incorporate most of the items listed in the activity above. The individual blog posts are normally listed chronologically starting with the most recent post. A blog website typically provides users with the ability to customise the "theme" providing options for manipulating the layout of these components and in some cases providing options to customise the blog by excluding some of the usual blog features depending on the blogger's preferences. Many blogs hosting services allow users to add additional features and plugins, for example, a Twitter stream. Bloggers frequently choose creative and inspirational names for their blogs and it's useful to visit the "about" page to find who is posting to the site.

The components of a blog site

In this section we summarise the components of a standard blog site and the corresponding functions of these elements. Many blogs provide users the ability to customise the theme and layout of their site and consequently the placement of standard blog components may differ from blog to blog. You may need look around the site to find the link or component you are looking for.

Blog name

The name or title of a blog is usually displayed at the top of the website (see No. 1 in Figure 1). The blog name or image logo functions as a hyperlink to the front page of the blog.


Individual posts are the lifeblood of a blog (see No. 2 in Figure 1). New posts are normally added at the top of the main page, unlike a standard website where content is posted according to the navigational hierarchy of the site. Most blogging software includes the ability for the blogger to add categories which provides the ability to associate and find previous posts by category and date. Older posts are moved to an archive (see below).

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Tip: When linking to a blog post, remember to use the URL of the individual blog post rather than the URL of the home page for the blog. Blogs are dynamic and the post appearing on the homepage today will filter down into the archives as new items are posted on the homepage. You can find the URL for the individual post by clicking on the title of the post or using the permalink feature for blogs that provide this capability.


About, Contact, are static information are pages with data that doesn't change often. Instead of creating a post, a page can be created for important information such as the about information.


Visitors to a blog are typically allowed to provide comments on posts (See No. 3 in Figure 1). The original author often joins in the conversion by replying to comments on their blog. The comment feature is a unique aspect of blogging which allows authors to connect with their readers on what they are writing.

Blogging software provides the ability to disable the comment feature on posts. Bloggers also have the ability to moderate posts and approve the comment before it appears on published site, or alternatively allow comments without moderation. This is a personal decision of the blogger. Unmoderated comments allow for immediate posting and flow of information, but carry the risk of potential SPAM or offensive comments. On the other hand, moderation may result in long delays before comments are published on the site, for example receiving comments from different time zones when the blogger is not attending to the site. However, moderation is an effective way to manage SPAM (which may slip through the standard spam protections) and minimise the risk of offensive comments before being posted live on the website. Note that blogging software provides the ability for the registered users to delete offensive comments after they have been posted.

Blog archive

The blog archive provides a history of all the posts on the blog (see No. 4 in Figure 1). A blog is basically an online diary where individual posts are displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent post appearing first on the home page.

Visitors can access the archive by date, or if implemented, categories (also called display labels) the blogger applies to individual posts. When applied, the categories are usually listed at the bottom of the post and the archive of posts can also be listed by category. Many blogs have the feature to include a category feed as a footer or sidebar option.

About link

The name of a blog does not necessarily convey the identity of the blogger or bloggers posting to a shared site. To find out more about the identity, interests and association of the blogger(s) there is usually an "About link" (or something similar) displayed on the home page (see No. 5 in Figure 1).

About page could display information

  • Name/screen name of author
  • Biography
  • Email contact - media/press/business
  • Phone number
  • Postal and business physical address

A blog roll

A blog roll is a list of links to different blog sites that the blogger likes or recommends and is usually listed in the sidebar as an optional feature of the blog layout. This is an explicit way of communicating the bloggers circle of interest to the public and sharing blog sites that you enjoy with your readers.