The vast majority of bloggers begin with Blogger. This is a two-edged sword because while there are huge numbers of bloggers on the system, a read-made community to explore, there are restrictions with content, formatting and expandability.
There are other blogging platforms, some who’s authors will host the blog for you (like on Blogger, what I’ve referred to as vendor hosting below), some who require you to have a server on which to host the software and some allowing you to do both.
Each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, each aimed at a slightly different type of blogger. Most are free, as are themes and skins, but some aren’t.b2Evolution
Main Site/Info: http://b2evolution.net/
Vendor Hosting: N/A
Further Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B2evolution
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 4.1 (or higher?)bBlob
Unfortunately the site http://www.bblog.org/
, that I have as the source of this SW no longer resolves, if anyone knows if it still exists perhaps they could email me.
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 4.1 (or higher?)Blojsom
All Blojsom info can be access from this wiki : http://wiki.blojsom.com/wiki/display/blojsom3/About+blojsom
Programming/DB Environment: Java/Flat FilesBlosxom
The Blosxom web site is currently inaccessible (http://www.blosxom.com/
) this may be another vendor/project that’s fallen by the wayside.
Programming/DB Environment: Perl/Data FilesEllis Lab (Formerly PMachine Pro)
No longer under development, but you can get a free download from http://ellislab.com/
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 4.1 (or higher?)Expression Engine (Ellis Lab)
This is an interesting one see http://expressionengine.com/
for details. The basic system is free, but I don’t know how basic that is :). The rest of the system has to be paid for.
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 4.1 (or higher?)MoveableType
Start here http://www.movabletype.org/
for al MoveableType info. I don’t know too much about this one so if anyone has any experience of it …
Programming/DB Environment: Perl/Several DBs, incl. MySQL, Berkeley, PostgresNucleus
I tried Nucleaus once, but couldn’t get along with it. From the version I saw it’s more of a Content Management System than a straight piece of blogging SW. Now that may be exactly what you want and I believe it has a very loyal following. See here for further rinfo http://nucleuscms.org/
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 4.1 (or higher?)
Trivia note: There’s a disclaimer in the FAQ section of their site because “At least one [unnamed] terrorist organisation” has chosen Nucleus for its website. As they point out there’s little any GNU/GPL software provider can do about who uses their SW.Pivot
See here for details http://www.pivotlog.net/
. Pivot is free and does not require a database to run, like Blosxom and Blojsom.
Programming/DB Environment: PHP4.0.6/Flat FilesSerendipity
I’ve never used this but here’s the site http://www.s9y.org/
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL or Postgress with PHPSPIP
Details here http://www.spip.net/en . The system uses PHP 3 and MySQL. Worryingly your server must understand the .php3 as being a PHP file which is odd as it’s been deprocated for years and can cause compatibility/security issues. Asside from that the site’s logo is a cute flying squirrel :D.
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL with PHP 3Text Pattern
Details available here http://www.textpattern.com/
Programming/DB Environment: MySQL 3.23 and above with PHP 4.3 and aboveWordPress
We use WP and we love it. The system can be used as a basic piece of blogging software or you can tweak it with widgets or custom code (if you host it yourself).
Main site/Info: http://wordpress.org/
Vendor Hosting: http://wordpress.com/
Further Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress
If you are thinking of paying for your own site ensure that your host supports the correct Programming/DB Environment as listed above.
If anyone knows of any more or has any information about these systems supplemental to that which I’ve covered pleas let me know and I’ll add it to this post.
Personally I believe that Blogger or WordPress hosted by WordPress is a good place to start, especially if you have limited technical knowledge, but as you mature as a blogger you may wish to consider the alternatives. That’s not to say you should switch away from blogger but it’s always best to be aware of the alternatives.
In addition to those systems listed above there are of course the new Vlogging sites (YouTube for example allows Vlogging), but that’s another post …