Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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On Choosing Blog Software

When I set out to write for the web, it took me a long time (read: couple of years) to decide how to present my writing. I’m going to be putting my name to it, and identifying myself by it’s very nature. So one criteria was to present my content in a way that I can live with. (Hence why this blog is titled “Notational Stigma”.

On the other hand, I want people to read what I’m writing. I’m not obsessive about getting the maximum numbers of views for a given topic, but I would like to think that people are reading what I’ve laboured to prepare and publish. This means it needs to be presented in a way that people understand.

And while I would love to build a completely minimalist website based on some of the more funky toolkits / CMS’s such as jekyll they take a certain level of Linux software competence to make them run. Although they are stripped down and simplistic, this throws much of the administration onto myself which, much to my own disappointment, I don’t have time or motivation to learn. Ok, I have some Linux competency, but my time is better spent learning Wave Division Multiplexing or whatever the current technology is rather than focussing on the intricacies of Apache and file permissions.

My first choice was to use Joomla / Mambo, but I spent more than six months trying to make the software run and look nice before I eventually gave up. I looked at Drupal before deciding that it was too complicated for a simple blog setup. I took the view that what I really wanted to do was to write, therefore the blogging software should focus on that. And only that.

Hence, I use WordPress. Just blogging. Enough administration tools to make it simple enough to run, but scalable enough for some heavy-duty work.

You can choose to run WordPress from for free. I did this for a couple of months before I moved to hosting my own site on a ten-dollar a month plan. My only advice is to purchase your own domain name from day one.

When choosing a domain name don’t use a vendor name, anything else that is copyrighted. The guy who owned couldn’t complain when Cisco sent the lawyers in to stop him using their name.

I got more into blogging at this point and started to implement more features, and have been increasing my hosting plans to larger hosting plans over time. The real hosting problems are CPU & memory related since delivering HTML doesn’t use that much bandwidth. But by this point, I more or less knew what I needed and have been handling & management of Wordpress.