You recently decided hosted blogging is for the birds. You want more control over your blog’s setup. In fact, you want total control over every last detail of your layout, functionality and design. So what do you do? Where do you turn?
One popular option is the Movable Type publishing system from Six Apart (other popular options include Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress). Movable Type contains pretty much everything you need to get your own site up and running, plus the flexibility to get really obsessive over the details. Also, with a little creativity and some community-created plugins, you can power much more than just a reverse-chronological list of blog posts.
This tutorial won’t go into the Movable Type installation process in-depth since there are many resources online already. What we’ll cover is the process of dressing up a vanilla Movable Type installation by customizing the look and feel of your new site. We’ll also get you started with some custom features by installing some plugins.
If you’ve taken the plunge into self-publishing, you’ve probably already learned that setting up a blog is the easy part. Tools like Blogger, TypePad and WordPress make it simple to set up your own site with just a few clicks.
It’s the next step — the branding, promotion and the actual writing — that’s the toughest nut to crack.
If you want your blog to hit the big time, you’ll need to dress up your site’s public presence. Here are Webmonkey’s tips for what you’ll need to play with the big boys and girls of the blogosphere. Soon, you’ll be swapping political commentary with DailyKos, and CoolHunting will be linking to you.
Do you miss the days when blogging seemed simple and exciting? Have you ever stared at the blank text input field in WordPress until you began to fill with dread?
While WordPress, Movable Type and similar blogging engines certainly make it easy to set up a blog with a robust content management system, sometimes the software itself is overkill. Sometimes you just want to post a picture or a quick snippet of text and be done with it.
That’s more or less the thinking that inspired Tumblr, a dead simple blogging system that makes it easy to post a quick note, an image, a link or a YouTube video and then get on with your real life.
It’s an incredibly easy-to-use publishing system, but that ease comes at a cost. Tumblr is also very simple by design, and it lacks many of the features bloggers might be familiar with. Still, many view Tumblr’s lack of extra features as an asset, arguing that things like comments or an integrated search tool only complicate a clean interface. In fact, Tumblr is quite different from blogging. It’s a side-step, a subculture with its own verb: tumbling.
To start tumbling, follow our guide. We’ll run through the basics and then get into the heavier stuff, like custom themes, custom URLs and comments.
Back when blogging was just catching on, a small PHP-based publishing system was quietly released and quickly took the blogging community by storm. WordPress, as the system was known, was an instant hit thanks to its simplicity and open-source license which allowed interested developers to extend and improve the system without hassle.
Today, WordPress powers everything from huge sites like CNN’s Political Tracker to thousands of personal blogs. Thanks to an easy step up process and the widespread availability of web hosts offering one-click WordPress installs, you can start blogging with WordPress in a snap.
In this tutorial, we’ll assume your web host doesn’t have a one-click installer. Maybe you’ve got a bare-bones host, you’ve decided to host your own site, or you’re simply setting up a local installation to see what WordPress can do. At any rate, fear not — getting WordPress working on your server only takes a few minutes. Of course, you’ll need a few skills in the bag first, like a knowledge of PHP and a comfortable working relationship with MySQL databases.
Once your blog is up and running, we’ll take a look at different ways you can customize and extend your blog.
Have you ever noticed those inviting orange buttons on some web pages, or spotted the odd link pitching an “RSS feed”? If you’ve ever clicked one out of curiosity, and then scratched your head at the unformatted gobbledygook in your web browser, you’ve seen an RSS file.
What is it really for, anyway?
Two things: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom are two specialized formats that create what’s commonly called a news feed, or just feed. A feed is an easy way for sites to share headlines and stories so that you can read them without having to visit two dozen different web pages everyday.
In other words, web builders use feeds to dish out fresh news and content from their websites and web surfers can use feed applications to collect custom-tailored selections of their favorite websites to be read at their leisure.
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