Since I started this blog in November 2003 I’ve been using Blosxom. Blosxom is particularly easy to set up, is written in Perl so it’s easy to customize, and it’s post database is a directory structure of text files making for an easy backup. Lately, I’ve been wanting to add things to make the site more complete, such as re-enabling commenting with protection against comment spam, RRS 2/Atom syndication, and a better archive calendar to name a few. All of these together would be enough work for me to start considering other blogging platforms.
Then Joe mentioned WordPress in one of his posts a few days ago, so I looked into it and gave it a shot. Since I have a FreeBSD server here, configuring it through the ports system was a piece of cake: cd /usr/ports/www/wordpress ; make ; make install. It uses a MySQL database to keep track of postings, users, etc, so I created a tablespace for it on a local MySQL server. Then I hit the setup page for the software, told it what database to use, and away we went. Setting up WordPress is a 2 step process, with step 2 being “There is no step 2.”
WordPress has import scripts from a variety of other blogging software. The useful port was from Movable Type. Marc Nozell has created some flavor files for Blosxom that will create an output file compatible with Movable Type’s export feature. Importing my postings into WordPress from that file worked pretty well, with only the small drawback of no previous writebacks getting moved over.
So far, I’m really impressed with the entire system. Since there are multiple users, you can restrict commenting to only come from people with accounts (which I might do), or have multiple people post stories to the blog (probably won’t do). All administration is taken care of from a web admin interface, which seems pretty intuitive accept for a slight learning curve when it comes to user permissions.
The one drawback is that WordPress is written in PHP, which many won’t consider a drawback at all, but I’m a Perl guy, so Blosxom will be missed in that respect. I’m hoping to finish configuring it and customizing it to my needs sometime later this week. I’m sure I’ll post more about it then…