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Recommendations for new blog software

It’s about time. Typo isn’t working very well for me anymore, it’s hogging too many resources on my server, commenting is really slow, deleting comments is even worse, and I’ve botched my svk/svn setup so I can’t upgrade easily anymore. So I’m at the point where switching software is about as easy as staying.



I have a couple options on the table already. There’s Mephisto, which seems to be less bloated than Typo and have a clear migration path, but it’s not under active development right now, and there’s still the burden of maintaining my own server and stuff and worrying about all of that.



So I’m also considering hosted, just to avoid the hassle of moving stuff when I change servers. Wordpress.com and TypePad come to mind as the top contenders in this area, and I’m leaning towards Wordpress, if only because they have a free-forever plan and don’t require a credit card to get started. And Matt seems to be a cool guy.



What about archives? I’d like them to move over, and even better, to have the same URLs still work, but that seems like a long shot at this point. There’s a lot of content there, dating back to 1999, and it’s still getting quite a bit of traffic. That’s one thing in favor of Mephisto: There’s a clear migration path from Typo, keeping the content (not sure about the URLs).



What would you recommend?



I’m sure there are others out there with Typo blogs looking for alternatives.

12 comments

Peter Marklund

I was using WordPress before I switched to my homegrown Rails solution (mostly to learn Rails). I was very happy with Wordpress and impressed by the software. Dunno about the migration path though...
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Vinod Kurup

You should try lars-blogger... It's written by a pretty amazing programmer ;-) Looks like there are a few typo to WP exporters: http://snippets.dzone.com/posts/show/3264 http://ctrlclick.co.uk/articles/2006/06/26/automatic-migration-from-typo-to-wordpress/
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There's always lars-blogger on OpenACS ;-) (My guess is that it isn't in active developmentm, either though...)
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I swtiched from WP to Typo in January. If you're running your own WP install vs. Wordpress.com drop in the following mod_rewrite rule and you're good to go: RewriteRule ^articles/(.+)(.html)?$ $1 [R,L]
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Thanks for the tips, everyone, and in particular the one about lars-blogger -- it sounds so enticing I really gotta check that out some day ;) I've been toying a bit with the migration to Mephisto locally, and it seems to be very smooth and painless. And Mephisto works with my usual blogging tools, which is to say, TextMate and MarsEdit. So right now I'm leaning in that direction. One painful part of maintaining your own software is the subversion aspect. With Typo, I tried to use svk to manage getting the latest changes from Typo trunk and merge them with local changes. That was a royal pain. This time, if I do go with self-hosted and Mephisto, I'm going to go with just a straight checkout of Mephisto on the server, and local modifications without source code contol. The changes are really miniscule, mostly to configuration files like database.yml, and perhaps to the themes. That should be okay, so long as they're backed up. Other thoughts? Should I just skip the pain and hire a rent-a-coder to migrate my site to wordpress.com and be done with it?
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One issue with migrating to WordPress it seems is getting my files moved. Right now, my site has images and stuff in /files, and with Mehpisto, I can just move those files over on the server, and things will still work. That won't work with a hosted wordpress.com install. Similarly, my blog now has things like the special typo:code tags in them. Mephisto seems to do something sensible with those, which is a good thing. Not that you couldn't get a rent-a-coder to fix those, too. The one Mephisto doesn't handle is the "amazon:" protocol, which lets me just enter the ISBN, and Typo would convert that into an Amazon.com URL. Gotta fix that manually, I suppose.
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I would definitely recommend setting up WP on your own domain. With that, you can pretty much do whatever you want. WordPress is by far the best and most versatile blog cms I have tried/seen.
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Mark Aufflick

Heh - Vinod beat me to it :) I'm still finding version 0.87 (circa 2003) of lars-blogger very reliable!
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Go with WP, it's great. I migrated couple of years ago from B2Evolution to WP and haven't regret it. WP has bloated of plug-ins, great comment spam tool and cool community. I am sure there is a ready script to get your content in WP, check out the forum in wordpress.org. I just google it and found this post "Automatic migration from typo to WordPress":http://ctrlclick.co.uk/articles/2006/06/26/automatic-migration-from-typo-to-wordpress/
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There's an "amazon.com plugin":http://treefallinginthewoods.com/os/mephisto-amazon-plugin for Mephisto as well.
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Søren Spelling Lund

I highly recommend DasBlog since that's the blog engine I use for my own site. It's open source and based on .NET with many integration points to service like FeedBurner, ping services, spam assessment, etc..
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I've heard good things about PublicSquare http://www.publicsquarehq.com
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