Setting up a blog?

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Netpackrat
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Setting up a blog?

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:07 am

I've recently concluded that I want to build a site for articles and updates about my MGA restoration project, and also any work that AlaskaTRX and I do to the MGTD that we own together. I used to post this stuff on one of the MG forums, but I recently departed from there due to a disagreement with the site management, and while there is another web group, since I can't retain any control of my pictures if I post them there, I've decided that it's best if I just put this stuff on my own website for continued control. And since I want readers to be able to comment on the articles, it would seem that the blog format would be the best way to go. Since a number of members here run their own blogs, I thought this would be a good place to ask questions.

First, I already pay for a domain hosting service and server space. I want this hosted at one of my own domains, most likely something like "mgblog.whatever.org". I don't necessarily care as much if the actual files are elsewhere, if that makes it easier for me to set up. Doing programming beyond some basic HTML stuff is something I don't want to have to learn for this project, but setting up the forward from my actual domain host I can handle. If I had to set up software on my existing hosting service, I can probably figure out if I have to, if that's a better way.

Second, I would prefer this to be relatively cheap. If I have to spend a bunch of money on a blog hosting service or software, I will probably shitcan the whole idea.

Third, it needs to be relatively easy to set up and operate. If it's a pain in the ass, it will be like my personal website, which I haven't really updated in any meaningful way since 2002. In that event, I won't bother setting it up.

Fourth, it would be cool if my brother could also make entries on it without having to go through me. The same ease of use considerations apply here.
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randy
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby randy » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:35 am

I'm using WordPress to manage a local amateur radio page. I didn't set it up, took over management from the guy who did and it's been working well for my purposes for several years. Posts and pages are done on in a web based WYSIWYG editor that can switch to HTML editor if needed. I don't use most of the features, but it works for what we want. A lot of power and flexibility for not much required knowledge or programming skills.

Yeah, I can do it using php or html, in fact that used to be the way I did it. But this interface makes it much easier and less painful to get good results, and I make more frequent updates since it is so quick and painless.

It runs on our hosted server space (1&1) under our domain name.

Multiple users can update, just set up a user name and password.

I keep comments, tracking and pingbacks turned off, but I know you can turn them on if needed.

If you're interested I can e-mail the link to the site so you can poke around from a viewers side and see if it might meet your needs
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

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Netpackrat
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:49 am

I was just looking at my hosting service's site, and much of the front page is devoted to bragging about their Wordpress service, which seems to be included with my account. So this might be a lot easier than I thought.

Edit: Hell, looks like I could set up my own forum, by pushing a few buttons. Not that I really have enough time to devote to that right now. But they have the same software package installed, that is used here.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby JohnOC » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:08 am

Wordpress is the most popular blog platform out there, its easy to use, very customizable, and fits exactly waht it sounds like you want to do.

This also makes it a gigantic target.

The main thing about running wordpress sites, is keeping wordpress itself up to date.
It is THE single biggest software target of every single kind of internet lowlife out there. If you don't keep it patched, your blog WILL be compromised by an exploit in the wordpress software and turned into a spam-sending appendage of the internet's biggest botnets.

The good news is, keeping it updated is not hard. You do have to stay on top of it, though.

I recommend:
- Pay for akismet spam filtering if you have comments enabled at all. You get to set how much you're willing to pay per year for it. I pay $25/year for it on two blogs I run for non-tech people, and its worth every penny. One of my customers middling-popular site about papercrafts gets over 20,000 spam comments per month. Akismet comes with wordpress by default, signing up for the api key at the name-your-price level is all it takes to enable it.

- Install the wordfence plugin and let it run wild blocking failed login attempts and password guessing. Set it to brutal levels. I set mine to block for a week any IP that makes more than 3 wrong guesses per day on a password. Its blocked over 30 IPs today on that same site. Wordfence will also e-mail you if either wordpress or any plugin or theme you are using has a new version available, so you'll get notification something needs updated. This is free, there is a paid version, but I don't use it.
The government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is powerful enough to take everything you have. – Thomas Jefferson

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Netpackrat
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:05 am

Well, fuck that then. No way am I going to that kind of trouble to keep it that up to date. I did try to install it, but it isn't working, not sure why. Just as well I guess. Thanks for the advice.
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"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby PawPaw » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:08 pm

Blogger is free. I've been using it for 10 years with nary a problem. I started on Blogger, switched to WordPress, didn't like the hassle and went back to Blogger. So, I've got PawPaw's House on the blogger site and use my domain to park things that I might want to access from anywhere.
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Yogimus
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby Yogimus » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:14 pm

Livejournal is user friendly if you don't mind being lumped in with 30 year old women acting like 12 year old kids.

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Netpackrat
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby Netpackrat » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:28 am

Thanks. Looks like I am going to have to give something up no matter what.

Spoke briefly with my friend who helped me get set up with the hosting service in the first place (I used to host my stuff on my Mac G4 until that machine died and I went with a laptop to replace it). He suggested, and offered to help me set up a web forum using the same software that TGC uses, but instead of using it as a regular forum, to just limit the membership to myself and my brother (and anyone else I wanted to allow to write articles for the site). He thinks that would be more versatile than a blog for what I want to do, more secure, and with the main disadvantage being no easy way for site visitors to leave comments, though there are ways of working around that with a little more effort on my part.

I'm going to think it over some more, and worst case scenario is that I make a choice, and find that it sucks and have to move all of my writings to another format. Which would not really be a big deal if it came to that, since I'm already paying for hosting no matter what. The main thing is to create an easy format to post and share my writings on my own site, rather than use them to enrich some other guy who happened to be first with a forum, which everybody now uses due to inertia.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby Greg » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:18 pm

PawPaw wrote:Blogger is free. I've been using it for 10 years with nary a problem. I started on Blogger, switched to WordPress, didn't like the hassle and went back to Blogger. So, I've got PawPaw's House on the blogger site and use my domain to park things that I might want to access from anywhere.


Yes. If you don't want to maintain the software yourself, use a platform where someone else maintains the software. Less control yes but also a lot less worry. Let the sysadmins do the sysadmin work. ;)
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Re: Setting up a blog?

Postby HTRN » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:03 pm

This is interesting - I want to do eventually something similar to what Net says - a repository of technical articles, ideally with a way to embed video. I was thinking blogger myself, because like Net, I'd rather what time i can devote to it to producing content, not managing the site. :ugeek:
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