Sunday, September 10, 2006

what's a good blog server for serious blogging?

I'm getting sick of blogger. The main thing is that I'm simply not a user. Taking what someone else gives me and just putting up with any failings doesn't suit me at all. I can deal with bugs in things I control (such as Linux distributions) because I can fix the bugs I consider important at any time.

So now I'm looking for a serious blogging program. Wordpress was strongly recommended to me after my previous post on the topic of blogs, but that was in regard to a simple blog program for Intranet use. I am now after a blog program that is designed for Internet use, it must have good security, support multiple users (some of my friends will probably want to use my blog server machine), and not be overly difficult to customise (I am resigned to the fact that I will have to learn another programming language - probably re-learning PHP or Java as that is where web programming is at nowadays).

One thing that I want to do is to have the main web page that displays all recent posts display each post in a frame with a separate Adsense section. The topics of my posts vary a lot so I want to have adverts that match.

Another feature I want is to have multiple RSS feeds with different settings. One use for this is to have tags for each post to specify which channel(s) the post will end up on, another is for Adsense for feeds functionality which I want on for some feeds but off for others. I also want to generate multiple feeds for different syndication services. Ideally a syndication service such as Planet Debian or Planet Linux Australia would use a unique feed for sucking it's own data and also have a unique feed address advertised on it's site for the users (if this isn't supported or desired at the syndication level then I can do tricks in the web server to serve different content for different IP addresses). That way I can track use by the different services, work around bugs in syndication services that matter to me, and change settings for post summaries, etc to suit the syndication service.

In terms of HTML editing I only need the most basic functionality. I would be entirely happy to write blog entries in raw HTML, my friends would probably desire line breaks to be converted to paragraph or break tags and basic linking functionality, but they could probably deal with entering bold and italic tags themselves (the few of my friends who couldn't manage this would probably only want to write plain-text in paragraphs).

I also want to run my own syndication software. I guess I have to consider blog server and syndication server at the same time as there may be some dependencies (EG having them both written in the same language might be handy - I don't want to re-learn BOTH Java and PHP). The syndication software would ideally automatically collect the feeds from other syndication services that I specify (although I'm sure I could write a simple Perl script to scrape them from the Planet web sites). Then I want to provide an RSS feed of that content for anyone who wants it.

Please let me know via email or comments if you have any suggestions about which software to use.


Dennis Kaarsemaker said...

Wordpress-mu is wordpress for multiple users. It does everything you want and has an optional javascript based gui-like editor.

Dennis Kaarsemaker said...

Oh and for syndication: planetplanet ofcourse!

Anonymous said...

Hey Russell, what about Serendipity? It's even debian-packaged!

Anonymous said...

ikiwiki can do everything you mentioned (good security, multiple users, customisable, multiple rss feeds, tags, html or simple markup, and aggregation/syndication). The only exception is the adsense stuff. But it has a plugin system with which you could add that.

-- Joey Hess

Anonymous said...

Wordpress can do everything that you ask for in this post, except of course the aggregation part. You'll find a ready-to-use Wordpress-mu package for Debian in

--José M. Parrella (bureado)

Rob said...

Sent you an email re drupal. ;-)

KDS said...

maybe... pyblosxom ? I had searched for something with multiple user and easy editing. PyBlosxom seems to have nice features e.g. text file posts and a bunch of plugins. I'm not sure if it does adsense, but a plugin should be that hard to find/write.

hendry said...

You can do multiple users in my wordpress Debian package. I don't see why wordpress-mu is better.

Wordpress is like the standard with blogging. It's used my thousands.

Planetplanet is also pretty much the standard for aggregation.


aim said...

wordpress is the best choise this days... some plugins highly recommended -- especially for openid identification of commenters.

Mark said...

As others have mentioned, Wordpress is pretty good, and there is a fork for allowing multiple users to share a single installation.

What others have not mentioned is UltimateTagWarrior, which is highly recommended for dealing with tags. Forget Wordpress's built-in categories, just use UTW. Each tag archive has its own RSS/Atom feed (append /feed to the end of the URL), which means you can designate a specific tag's feed as the feed for a particular Planet. (I do this with Planet Mozilla: ).