The blog selection dilemma

When my next door neighbor and generally awesome person Kelly said she wanted a blog site the possibilities seemed endless. My company has been doing a lot of websites this year and I had high hopes of integrating a third party blog script into our custom rapid development framework. Its been a couple of years since I installed a blog and so of course I went out and looked at reviews, hoping to find something new.

Looking at reviews and feature lists, my first choice was called NibbleBlog. I read reviews, I read their site, and even went to GitHub for a quick code review. Having been burned by deploying small open source software packages in the past, I headed over to look at their open issues list. The first request was from a couple of weeks ago but was unanswered, regarding a bug when uploading photos. The lack of reply seemed to hint at abandonment but I read on. The next issue request was from a user who enjoyed the software package, but wanted to see support for seo-friendly urls. Buried in the ‘me too’ responses to that issue request was a quiet note from the package author stating that the software was no longer supported. Had I not thoroughly reviewed the open issues then I never would have known. Obviously I’m not going to deploy deprecated software, so I moved on.

I returned to the lists of options and sadly dismissed each one, all no longer supported or missing critical functionality. Many that are listed as free are actually not, and I have several reservations about purchasing blog scripts. Few offer support, and many are hosted on scary looking websites. Everyone’s first web coding project is a blog, and there’s no such thing as a free preview when buying scripts. There truly is no telling what the author’s skill level was. So, running out of time, I gave up and deployed WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong, WordPress is fine, but it doesn’t advance my original goals of creating a custom blog module. And I’m still salty after Polish spammers took over my last WP install and were hocking kayaks on my home page (not kidding). I get a lot of work requests to make custom WP apps, but I really wanted to offer a simple alternative to my clients.

So I am sad to report that, like Wal-Mart, WordPress seems to have effectively eradicated the little guy in the CMS and blog world. If you know of a php blog package that can integrate into an existing website, be sure to leave a comment. In the meanwhile, welcome to my WP blog!


Bomb Ass Domain Name

Drew, from AJ’s Home Services, LLC just landed a freaking sweet domain name for his upcoming site. I won’t spoil it until the site is ready, but way to go man!

Diet challenge: Eating out

Today was the first time we ate out in the 2 weeks since we started our diets. We went to On the Border Mexican restaurant for my sister-in-law’s birthday. I knew everyone would be drinking and I did feel a little emotional when ordering water while staring at a pitcher of margaritas. But they did have lots of healthy options on the menu and were more than happy to substitute extra vegetables in place of rice. Jim and I both wound up having grilled chicken with vegetables – almost exactly what we would have been having at home. The spicy salsa fresca was a nice treat and gave the meal a Mexican flair. It was difficult not to let the conversation of food and diets dominate our end of the table, but everyone had a good time and we survived with full bellies albeit sober. In all, I’m proud of us!