Blog Software

I know we have several good bloggers on this forum so I’d like your opinions. What software do you use for editing & hosting your blog? Satisfied?

I’ve been using Microsoft Live Writer to create posts for my Blogger hosted site and I’m tired of fighting with the nuances of incompatibility. Live Writer is great for creating posts but the problem is that they often look very different when they’re actually posted to the blog. I then have to try and do a lot of quick editing using the Blogger online editor. Code sections sometimes work and sometimes don’t… I’m not sure if it’s a problem with Blogger, Live Writer, my Blogger Template/Theme. But, I’m interested in hearing about combinations that have been working well for others. Thanks.

I use Orchard. It’s not that great, and I only ever edit posts directly on the website, which is a giant hassle.

I don’t qualify as a good blogger, however.

@ godefroi

I’m curious…why don’t you use Windows Live Writer? It works well with Orchard (I also use Orchard for, and it’s definitely MUCH better than trying to write/edit posts in a web browser. I have yet to find any blog software web editor that would make me want to give up Live Writer.

I’ve got a variety of plugins I use that are very helpful for things like post templates (for my weekly event listing posts, for example), code formatting, posting to twitter, etc.

@ ian

WLW is definitely the way to go, but how WYSIWIG the output is depends on the platform. I get reasonably good fidelity between WLW and Orchard when posting, so it’s pretty rare that I have to do any post-publish tweaking.

Did you have WLW try to download your blog’s theme? If that’s supported in Blogger, it might help.

@ devhammer

Mostly because the Live essentials is such a heavy install for such a simple program as WLW. Also, what I really want is some way to post from my phone, which does not run WinPho7.

I’ve never looked into Orchard. Looks nice. Is there a cloud-based version of it anywhere? I moved to Blogger because I was getting tired of maintaining the portal software I was using before. I only want to worry about the content. What host are you all using?

@ godefroi - definitely give WLW a try. You can install it w/o installing all the other Live bloat. Just uncheck the boxes during the install. If it works well with Orchard then it will definitely make your life a lot easier. The plug-ins for WLW are very nice. You could still use the Orchard online editor for doing posts from your phone, I suppose.

Yea, I did that. The problem seems to be mostly in Javascript and the order that things get processed. My code blocks always look perfect in WLW but by time they get to the blog the background colors disappear. Also, a lot of extra line breaks seem to get added during the publish. I suspect the problem is with Blogger trying to “clean” the post as it’s published.

I believe you can run Orchard in Azure. Never tried it, myself.

Interesting. Although that wouldn’t really accomplish my goal. I want someone else to take care of keeping the blog software patched and secure (not just the OS). I have not had good luck with keeping malware/viruses off my site in the past (mostly due to neglect due to lack of time…). So, I need to be able to outsource that part of it so I can spend my time on more interesting activities :slight_smile:

I’ve only just started fiddling around with blogs and have been using Wordpress. It’s fairly easy and supports posting directly from you iOS device (maybe they have a WinPho version).

I just installed Orchard and I like what I see so far. Does anyone have any experience migrating from another blog to Orchard? In the first few minutes I haven’t found an import feature but I suspect it must be there somewhere. If you migrated from something else, how much manual work did you end up having to do to get your old posts right?

@ ian

I started from scratch with my Orchard instance, and used a theme I bought from a 3rd party site.

If Blogger supports BlogML, you may be able to use this for importing your content:

I’m also a fan of the disqus module for comments:

Hmmm… I’m using Disqus now on my current blog. I wonder how do Disqus comments merge over to the new posts on a new site. Do you know if everything needed would be exported in the BlogML?

@ ian

I can only speculate, since I have not done a migration of either posts or comments to Orchard.

But I believe that Disqus comments are stored external to your blog in Orchard, though they can be synchronized, in case the service is unavailable for some reason. Here’s a snip from the disqus page in my Orchard dashboard:

[quote]The Disqus module allows you to synchronize comments from the Disqus service into your Orchard database. This allows the comments to be displayed if the Disqus module is disabled. It also allows the comments to be included for search engines to index as part of your site content.

You can automatically synchronize your comments at a regular interval, or manually synchronize comments using the button on the Disqus manage page.[/quote]

Now, the next question would be whether, if you use the same Disqus credentials and blog address, Disqus would still display the comments from old posts, and I just don’t know the answer there. Might be worth checking Disqus’ site to see if they have an FAQ or something that discusses this scenario.

Yea, I’ll do a test migration of a few posts and see what happens. Perhaps there’s a GUID that is assigned to a post that gets migrated in the BlogML that Disqus keys off.

What host are you using?

I host my blog on a shared server account at Arvixe. I got a 2-year deal via the ASP.NET hosting gallery for less than $5 a month, unlimited disk space and unlimited data transfer, with up to 6 domains:

Not perfect, but good for the price.

You might also have a look at Cytanium, which is a low-cost offering from the folks at ORCSWeb, which has really good service. I’ve used ORCSWeb for a long while for a variety of sites (I have a free account I’ve had since I was an MVP, and they also host Community Megaphone as a service to the community), and they do a great job, so their Cytanium offering is a nice combo of folks who know what they’re doing, and a more affordable pricing model than their higher-end hosting.

Their least expensive offering is just $30 a year, which is pretty outstanding, though it does come with limits on disk space (1 GB) and bandwidth (20GB/mo.). Still a pretty good bargain if your site fits the constraints.

I’m also a happy customer of Arvixe. It’s cheap, but it works.

Wow, Arvixe does look like a steal. I’ll have to check that out. Have you had any problems with their performance?

Anyone know what Architect uses for his blog? It’s really really nice.

I know :smiley:

Edit. Blogger(Google) provides several default templates. I am using their latest edition - Dynamic Views

I’d forgotten that Architect is also using Blogger… I do like your blog. However, I wish Blogger would give more options for styling their default templates.

Architect, what do you use for editing your posts? Are you writing them in the web UI or with WLW or something else?

Use Wordpress. It can be used as a blogging tool and cms. Just make sure you get the following plugins:
w3 total cache (makes html versions of the pages to speed it up)
login lock (so somebody does not bruteforce your login)
wordpress firewall(blocks againnst sql injection)[/ulist]
Wordpress also has a disqus plugin and Blogger import.