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I need to install a blog for a friends site, went to grab MT and just realized they now require a fee to be paid. I knew this some while back, but must have forgot.

 

Any suggestions on a good free blog?

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The three leading packages, to my knowledge, are Drupal, Wordpress, and Textpattern.

 

Of those, my favorite is textpattern by a large margin. It's a beautiful, simple and elegant system - yet very customizable and extremely fast.

 

MT does have a free version, depends how many authors/weblogs you need or something - it's all very convoluted. I loved Textpattern though. =) Great community too.

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Bill, if you still want to use MT, I have the version 2.661 install files.

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I have heard many bad "reviews" of wordpresses hosting. It seems more geared towards people already tending towards 'geekdom'. Even in my personal experience helping a friend with wordpress we've been been pulling our hair out.

 

Textpattern just seems more user friendly. =) It's sure prettier.

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I use Wordpress and think it's great, but I might qualify as 'geekdom'.

 

Textpattern has recently changed to opensource licensing, which is an improvement. That's one of the leading reasons I didn't try textpattern before (I don't like unclear licensing, no matter what the author may "promise" for the future).

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I definitely don't have the time to even think of qualifying for 'geekdom', but I am still very happy with wordpress. I'd also recommend checking out Dive into Mark's reason's for using Wordpress.

 

You can check out my implementation - it's in my sig.

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Another vote for WordPress. I haven't customised much from the (boring) default setup. Version 1.2 is a lot easier to work with. And the support is excellent for a community-help forum. There are a few trolls, but they get stomped on with a vengeance.

 

My Careless Thought blog is WP.

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I just installed wordpress, took all of 5 minutes and I was adding my first post.

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Heh yanno I say Wp as well - but only install it for your friend if they'ves got good knowledge of PHP. I've sat and confused myself with WP.

 

MT does allow 1 author 3 blogs for free and the license that applies to you is the license at the time of downloading the copy. You can still download MT 2.661 but the 1 author 3 blogs still applies.

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I use CuteNews.. amazingly easy to customize, took me like 3 minutes to install to an existing page.

 

http://cutephp.com/ (Yeah, I think their site is under construction, but you can still download the script)

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You may also want to investigate this site, which offers descriptions and comparisons of MANY content management systems, some of which have a BLOG and WIKI features. The array is dizzying and I have been comparing till I am crosseyed.

 

http://www.cmsmatrix.org/

 

Here's another site which will allow you to setup and run any of the CMSs that they have installed. This is a clever idea: you run their installation of a third party CMS to see what the admin and setup functions are like and if you can get the look or features you want. Every so many hours, they restore the default install and all your changes are wiped out; the system is ready for another "customer." As you can see by their name, they feature open source stuff.

 

http://www.opensourcecms.com/

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My site is in Wordpress 1.2, and after looking att lots of site builders, weblogs, and other packages, it won out for flexibility and ease of use.

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Just yesterday I installed WordPress and today the free, 1-user version of MovableType. WordPress was straightforward enough to install though not quite as polished as MT. Where WordPress really lost was its inability to quickly add thumbnails of pictures in the blog-entries that open up to full-size pictures (or a picture gallery). For this you need some plug-in which requires modifying php code.. Then afterwards there were still issues, and adding pictures was still by no means as easy as it could be. (Check out www.fotopages.com to see how easy adding pictures could/shoudl be!) I'm kind of looking for that level of functionality but haven't found it.

 

MT is a bit better, but still not perfect.. You have to copy and paste the HTML picture code in your posts. Really! :)

 

I'm now looking at Textpatter, the one suggested above. Does anyone know of example blogs that use a lot of pictures (thumbnails)? I'm NOT looking for a gallery, I'm looking for text posts with 3-6 pictures for every entry. (Like I have at my fotopages page at http://chanchao.fotopages.com )

 

Cheers,

Chanchao

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MT is a bit better, but still not perfect.. You have to copy and paste the HTML picture code in your posts. Really! :)

What are you talking about ? You upload the pic, set your thumbnails sizes then you can either new entry or show me the HTML then as a popup or embedded ! MT does it all for you !

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Yes, so indeed MT is the best one I found so far. (Though I think seeing HTML in your posts is not nice for users. Not just a simple link either, you're pasting serious pop-up code. The advantage of course would be greater flexibility.)

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Okay, so now I have also installed Textpattern... Nice and clean to work with, but making layouts and doing design is hell.. Very steep learning curve there, don't use TextPatter (at this stage) unless you're already comfortable with HTML and -especially- CSS. There are *NO* ok-looking default templlates you can just apply, you will feel like you did 15 years ago toying around with HTML in Notepad!!

 

Anyway, note that this is already better than WordPress, where you're actually digging into the PHP code far too often for my liking.

 

So it looks like I'm some crazed blog-software collector... Good thing TCH offers unlimited MySQL databases. :-))

 

Going to try ExpressionEngine next. :) It may cost money, but I have to value my time too!

 

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Well, textpattern itself doesn't have a large learning curve - but you're right, you'll need to create your own templates. that said there is a link to ready made templates here.

 

I run expressionengine and while I had an easy time with it (having used MT for a year, then textpattern for a few months and wordpress for several other sites, I pick this stuff up quickly) it has a much steeper learning curve than txp and it is *not* free.

 

It IS worth every penny, in my opinion. =) I'm quite active on the EE support forums as well, so if you need help let me know.

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Okay, now I have ExpressionEngine running too.... (The trial version) It's clearly the best of the bunch, but also the only one that costs serious money, even for a personal blog.. $150 Ouch...

 

Cheers,

Chanchao

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*nods* I got it free when they gave away 1250 copies for people converting. But I'd say if I had to pay up the money now I would in a second. It's very much worth it. =)

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I dunno.. I have Textpattern installed and well, I guess I have just used MT so much that Textpattern looks foreign to me :)

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It is, MoonFaery, but it's 100% worth learning for sure. It's much more elegant and easier in the longrun, I think. =)

 

and free'er.

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Okay... I have come to a conclusion on which blog software to use. Note that this is potentially an almost religious matter where some people will defend their preferred blog software to the death, kind of like an Apple vs. Windows vs. Linux debate..

 

My main requirements are that it should be easy to add pictures/thumbnails to posts, and that any ordinary person (i.e. your and my mother) should be able to use it. (Not install it, use it, as in: write a blog.)

 

Expression Engine is out. That it's one of the few ones that cost (serious) money is not even the major issue for me. The major issue was that you have to paste HTML code into your post to do things like show images. I'm not allergic to code myself, but I intend to let users start their own blogs on my site, and, well, having to do code is just SO 10 years ago. :-)

 

Textpattern. For some reason that I cannot put into words I feel a LOT of sympathy for Textpattern. Maybe it's the clean, very logical approach to everything. Installation is a breeze too. It's almost art the way it works, very clean and abstract.

But the learning curve is VERY steep, not just for the TXP tags you have to learn but also to get even your first 'hello world' basic layout to look the way you want you need to understand HTML and especially CSS. There's a lot more to CSS than I thought. But keep in mind that this software is not finished yet, it's not a 1.0 release yet. I like it, but at this time I don't think any mom and pop user could get going with it. I will keep following this one though, I find it attractive in a strange sort of way.

 

So the winner is......... pLog !!! See www.plogworld.org. The user-interface to make posts is very user friendly, it looks just like MS Word basically. And there are many layout templates you can just apply and modify. And it supports multiple users per blog, and multiple blogs per site. Again this is not a 1.0 release yet, but the basics are there. Installation is easy too; upload and run the wizard.php page from a browser. Look into it.

 

Cheers,

Chanchao

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I'm going to test out a couple more and see what I think. Now that plog one does sound like it deserves a test run... :)

 

Lisa, I was at the bookstore earlier and not only got the PHP book I said I would, but I grabbed a CSS book too woooot

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