My very first task when setting up the blog, or weblog as they’re being called nowadays, was how exactly I wanted to go about it. The very first consideration I had was if I even wanted to host this site myself. There are a multitude of free, simple to use providers which allow you to create your own personal site, such as Google Sites. However, this would have been a bit too simple for my tastes… part of the exersize of the weblog should be learning more about servers, webhosting, and the relations between apache, mysql, php and running a server.
In my case, I hosted this blog on an Ubuntu SheevaPlug (more on this later…) so I wanted an option which allows me to host my content myself. That left me with the choice of building everything from scratch or using a pre-built platform. At work Jody (my mentor) and I built a content-sharing platform based on the excellent open-source “Joomla” platform. So that was one way to go, but while Joomla is excellent, it seems to be more geared towards enterprise, publishing, intranet sharing and so on, a bit too clunky for my needs. By the way, another excellent alternative to Joomla I was considering using at work was “Drupal”
I turned my attention towards some sites I am a regular reader of. I had already heard about WordPress, indeed some of my favourite sites are hosted using this…. I am also a huge fan of the Lifehacker site, and I love their design. Took me a while to discover that they are based on Movable Type.
After reading through this excellent review article on different weblog engines I decided to go with the most prolific weblog install base, figuring so many people must love wordpress for a reason…