Well, I spent a little time over the last couple of days evaluating blogging options for the website, and eventually settled on WordPress (what a great name for a blogging platform!).
Some of its pluses:
- It runs off PHP, which means it runs on my current web host (which also provides MySql instances on the same plan). The learning opportunity was a big part of going with WordPress, as opposed to being hosted on blogger.com or wordpress.com.
- XML-export of posts.
- Wide user base, established community, theme and plugin availability.
- Open source.
MovableType (another great moniker) was another option, but dependency on Perl, a much larger installation, a seemingly more powerful but less user-friendly dashboard put it behind WordPress (it’s also not open source, but for me that’s not a big deal). I did like its ability to publish multiple blogs from a single installation.
I was able to FTP-publish to my site from blogger.com, and liked its simplicity, but in the end wanted something that I could tweak under the covers a bit more.
After that, it was a matter of hacking away at the default theme to get it looking the way I wanted (a lot of inspiration coming from this great WordPress site), which took actually much longer than I expected. It’s been a good experience though, as it’s given me exposure to working with stylesheets, server-side includes, PHP, and inter-browser differences (the theme looks much better in Firefox than it does in IE). And it’s been just the impetus I needed to bring better organization to the site.
The site does seem slower with SSI, as do the blog pages in general, and in particular the admin pages. Looking around, this wp-cache plugin might be an option for better performance.