The Blaugust Reborn mentors are busy posting this week about how to get started blogging, and so naturally there's been some focus on what blogging platform to use; the endless wars of preference of Wordpress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr and the like; should you self-host or use a third party platform? What template, what plugins, what name, what domain? Theres' just so much to consider.
And here's me, writing my own blogging platform, hosted on my own server. I have only one piece of advice: don't do this. Sure, if you've the know-how and a bit of web development background, it might seem like a good idea. Having gone ahead and done it, I'm not so convinced. Not that I haven't enjoyed the process; I'm pretty pleased with the site as it stands. But doing it entirely yourself does have its drawbacks. It's time-consuming, for one. A few days ago I had a little time to spare and I was going to write a post, but ended up implementing pagination instead. And then there was a little issue with the RSS feed that needed tweaking. And then I re-wrote some of the behind-the-scenes page generation to be a little quicker. And so on, and so on.
I've survived Blaugust once before, so I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. Stupidly I thought writing the entire site at the same time would be an interesting added challenge (and I suppose it is) but it will take an extra burst of commitment here and there. I'll be happy if I come out of Blaugust with a month's worth of posts and a functional blog.
There's a handful of things I want to add over the coming month:
- Photo galleries with thumbnails and slideshow
- OpenGraph support
- Analytics -- currently I have no idea if anyone is reading this!
- A redesign of the template so it's a bit nicer looking
Dear reader, would you do me a favour? If on your visit you see something wonky, a broken image, a broken page, an RSS entry that isn't quite right in your reader, please do let me know, by comment, or a quick tweet or by messaging me in the Blaugust Discord. I want to know these things so I can get them ironed out.