My Blog Software Project – Reinventing the Wheel

Writing blog software isn’t something I really want to do. Unfortunately, WordPress isn’t doing it for me anymore. The reason? It has too many of the features I don’t want and not enough of the features I want. Most of all, posts and pages have to be cached for speed when static files should be used in the first place. I’m sure I could create a plugin that does what I want it to do but with the amount of work I would have to put into it, I might as well start an independent project.

Static Website Generators as Blog Software?

responsive web design - blog software
By Tooroot (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve spent the entire week studying blog software other than WordPress and static website generators that can be used as “pseudo” blog software. None of them filled the requirements I set for them. The closest was PieCrust, but doing almost everything in a Linux terminal was too much for me. HTMLy is decent, but how it handles files isn’t how I want to handle files.

Most of the static website generators do what I need them to do – somewhat. I’m just not comfortable learning to work with other languages when I’m content to work with PHP. What I intend to create is yet another static website generator, using PHP only.

The Theme for my Blog Software

I know enough about CSS, JavaScript and responsive web design to be dangerous. This is one facet where I won’t start from the beginning. While I understand everything, I’m not talented enough to design something better than what already exists.

I’ve decided to use one of the themes at HTML5 UP, customizing it as needed. I haven’t decided on which one to use, but “Zerofour” looks like the best one to me so far. The people at N33 designed it using the skelJS framework, which means I don’t have to worry about supporting old web browsers.

This is the first step in the back-end design. I need something in place while writing the code so I can test it as I work on it.

What about Blog Comments and Feedback using a Contact Page?

I’ve thought about this long and hard. I’m going to switch to Disqus for blog comments. For my contact page, I’m going to offer my e-mail address. Gmail does a very good job in filtering out e-mail spam – I really don’t need to worry about hiding it.

The main design goal I have in mind is keeping the static front-end as far away from the non-static back-end as possible. That means using JavaScript on the front-end and no PHP on the front-end at all.

This isn’t my First Rodeo

This isn’t the first application I’ve written. I won’t go into detail about the stuff I did in the past because it’s irrelevant. Unfortunately, this is the first blog software application I’ve started and given up on several times. This time, however, I intend to finish it. And it doesn’t matter if the product ends up being different from my vision.

I’m armed with a lot more information this time around. An example is PHP: The Right Way. Another is PHP performance tips (dead link) at Google. And this information is for the back-end, not the front-end. The front-end, being static, will be the proverbial piece of cake.

I know I’m reinventing the wheel. You may want to ask me why I won’t support something already out there, or suggest improvements for it, instead of doing something new. It’s simple. The base of each one I’ve examined isn’t even close to what I want to do.

I’m not sure if I want to make this a single-user application or a multi-user application. I suppose it depends on how modular it ends up being. Regardless, it’s something I’m going to share if it’s not a complete mess.

If you want to keep up on the progress of my blog software project, I suggest you follow me with one of the social buttons below or subscribe to e-mail using the form in the footer. Suggest a name, based on what I’ve written, and if I use it, I’ll give you credit somewhere in the blog software. I intend to finish it this year.


 

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