Looking at Blogging Software

Over the last few hours i've been having a little ponder about what software to run with for my daughters (still get a kick outa saying that heh..) site.

The criteria/wishlist would run something like this:

  • Reasonably mature with good chance of still being around in 5yrs+
  • Good docs and developer community
  • Plenty of sensible add ons (plugins)
  • Good to excellent spam protection - No, mtblacklist is NOT good enough
  • Handles photos easily, preferably with gallery plugin also
  • PHP/MySQL based
  • Self hosted

A tall order right?
So, some of the options i've thought about:

Movable Type
Has most of it except it's perl/mysql based and has mt-blacklist which is shit

Has most of it, great spam protection and i know the developer personally, he's a very nice chap and is a member here. Only problem is that it's a young system and i worry that some years/months? down the line i'll be trying to hire someone to port it all over to some other sytem...

Grey Matter
Again, has most of it but i haven't heard much from them lately, why has this stuff fallen out of favor? - i need to look at it but maybe someone here know's the score off-hand?

Word Press
Excellent by all accounts though i had some trouble installing when i tried it some months back. This looks like a very likely candidate though, i can go through a little install hassle for the fact that it covers almost all of my needs including spam protection and longevity

So, what do Threadwatchers think?

We must have a few bloggers in here right? :) Please let me know what you think of my list and what you like to use and why...


I am a bit of a techno twit

and I installed WordPress no problem rather quickly.

also if you do not need category features Blogger is a rather well known option. all their comments go through some sort of redirect so I think they are less prone to receive the random off topic comments.

another option is TypePad.

another option is TypePad.

you can dynamically map a url to a typepad location. typepad premium (or whatever they call it) allows you to host many TypePad blogs on their servers for a whopping total of like like $15 a month.


just for reference the guy in the office that said go Wordpress gets beaten daily because of that :)

it's a bit buggy and we had to hack some of our own mods together, like proxy captcha, 302 page recreation ... etc ;)


According to DianeV

They are launching WordPress 1.5 on the 15th - might wanna hang back untill then grnidone...

OH WOW! I am loving Wordpr


I am loving Wordpress. I think it may be a program to which I will donate money. When they say 5 minute setup they weren't joking. Smooth smooth setup.

I wish they had a gui for setting up templates, though, but over all a real slick program.

*kick kick kick*

I always thought you could download pyra's blogger software? Is that not the case?


As a complete blogging novice, I've been having a play with both Textpattern and Wordpress. After an admittedly steep initial learning curve, I'm finding Textpattern much easier to customise and work with than Wordpress.

Would any more experienced bloggers care to comment on Textpattern?

I think im going to have a lo

I think im going to have a look at wordpress for sure, thanks everyone - i'll post back in here when it's up and running :-)

Wordpress and Drupal can be i

Wordpress and Drupal can be installed with just a click each, in CPanel Fantastico.

Others to consider.

pLog*, pMachine/ExpressionEngine, perhaps even scoop, though its more drupal like.

Also located a slightly dated but useful breakdown of the popular blogging platforms.

*apparently uses smarty too. And has a bayesian spam filter, which is intriguing.


It was months back so i guess it must have been 1.2 i looked at. I dont mind alpha's - i can upgrade when it's stable and use the existing docs...

I think I'll most likely give it a try, however, do the modules/plugins need to be rewritten for the new release or will they work?

wordpress 1.3?

Nick did you look at the wordpress 1.3? 1.3 has many more features over 1.2. Believe the templating system is very different and much improved over version 1.2. Only negative is as 1.3 is alpha you wont find a vast amount of documentation.

oh yes...

I remember now, i took one look at the wordpress "templates" and my heart sank :( atrocious they are...

The bBlog sys uses Smarty so it's easier than falling off a log..

Its quasi-templated. It has a

Its quasi-templated. It has a whole load of files, not just one template file, and they're basically just html with php, not seperated into different files.
Kind of a shame, because it makes things that much harder to do -- even the best syntax highlighting can get confusing when you're forever switching in and out of PHP. So its not as good at seperation as say, smarty (indeed it looks more like savant style templating)

Thanks Flynn

and everyone.

Welcome to Threadwatch Flynn, do introduce yourself

Looks like wordpress is the favorite eh? Im quite comfortable with html etc so that's no problem - is it template driven - easy to manipulate the html/css?

One thing i've learnt working with drupal (especially this site) is the more you hack it, the harder it is to upgrade.. heh..


Can't say I am familiar with all blog systems but I recommend WordPress if you are looking at a hosted blog solution. I am currently using WordPress 1.2 but I know that they are working on 1.3 version which may be where you want your starting point to be in terms of not having to upgrade soon after your intiial install. That depends on your timeframe of course. I find the publishing/editing system to be everything I need but you will need to know HTML, or at least basic HTML to get started. I love the trackbacks, pingbacks, and permalink functions too. There are tons of plugins online, especially comment spam related. I am using WP Blacklist 2.8 and it works well for blocking comment spam. Also, there are a lot of available templates to use as a starting point for your blog design.

Typically you need php 4.1, mysql 4.3, and optionally access to apache mod_rewrite to install WordPress.

There's plenty of anti-spam m

There's plenty of anti-spam measurements in place for Wordpress now, including spam-karma, a blacklist, comment moderation, captchas, and so on. Its all in the plugins, baby.

I'd have used wordpress except for the fact that the install doesn't work for me, the config file generated is chock full of whitespace, and removing it (what they suggest causes the error) does sweet fanny adams. It baffles me that whitespace can afflict an installer, truly.

Drupal also doesn't seem to enjoy the idea of being set up -- setting it up locally was a no-no because it was trying to send an email which localhost wasn't permissed to do :|

Movable type, I always steered clear of because there's far too much mention of recompiling templates for me to even consider such a system -- it sounds stupid as hell. It is however, clearly the daddy of them all.

bBlog is what I 'settled' with in the end, and very good it is too. My only qualm is the level of user activity isn't much, but thats part and parcel of being a young, less adopted solution. I understand its got a gallery thing being coded just now, and it has a rudimentry photoblog thing already.
But it is undeniably young, and if longer-term support is a big thing, it may not be the best choice, as it may not survive the amalgamation of the blog systems (its a market, just like any other, where there will be a few top players (tyically three, which we already see) with the rest falling by the wayside/being less penetrable)

If you can get it to install, I'd recommend wordpress, its got a thriving community (much to my bblog's chagrin) and is one of the 'big three' so it won't die any time soon.

[in for the edit:]
One of the better lists of spam prevention in wordpress. Probably covers most methods currently used, though I expect that there's a few plugins/hacks that are elsewhere that don't make the list.
Between htaccess, vague moderation and whatnot, it should be possible to vastly limit the spam. Blacklists aren't ideal to me as they have to cycle every comment through a thousand plus domains, which is more intensive than I'd like.

No idea what anti-spam featur

No idea what anti-spam features wordpress uses, i use it for news and have comments turned off, so was quite surprised when i started to receive emails saying i had another comment waiting approval. After looking at the code you could bypass the configuration disabling comments and spam away. Should point out this is the nightly build alpha version from a month ago, possibly already fixed. Wordpress can’t be that bad DaveN uses it ;)


Surprised you had problems installing Wordpress yet managed with drupal.
Wordpress 1.3.x makes creating and switching styles very easy, creates great html and easy to mod. Downside is comment spam, even with comments turned off you’re still vulnerable and have to resort to either custom coding, renaming files etc(was the case with 1.3-alpha 4). But all you casino boys new that anyway :)


dont they have a registration or captcha system at all on that thing paul?


Bueller, bueller.....

greymatter is sloooooow

Grey matter is okay... but it runs really slowly, and I don't think it's supported anymore...