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Old 13th July 2008, 20:18   #1
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Default Suggestions for Blogging Software

I'm planning to start a blog on a new product of mine. I intend to make it a proper blog, with a domain name of its own, and with proper paid-for hosting. This is going to be just a Blog (with additional 'contact me', etc etc webpages) and no community stuff, except for "comments". The blog is intended to promote the sale of the product/book with word-of-mouth generation and with posts in the general area of interest of the subject the book deals with. The book will be out only in a month, and I intend to add online pay & buy facility then.

I don't have any experience with even a free blogging platform like Blogger etc. After a bit of research, I've narrowed down my software option between WordPress and Typepad. I'm tending towards WordPress simply because of reported ease of use. I will be doing all the technical stuff related to the blog myself.

Now I'm not a proper tech-guy in the sense that everything I know, I've learnt by myself. I've been managing ("webmastering") 3 websites myself for about 8 years and have integrated a payment gateway setup into one of the websites. I have a good working knowledge of ASP, Javascript (copy & paste artist, heh heh) and HTML. I mostly use Dreamweaver and have no issues with looking under the hood and tweaking & fixing code as needed.

I said all this because I understand that what I know now is not very useful in the blogging world. From the reading I've done, I understand that at the minimum, I will have to learn to use PHP & mySQL.

Now coming to my questions,

1) Could you recommend what I should be using: WordPress or Type Pad?

2) Will I be able to get by with minimum (dummy-like) knowledge of PHP & mySQL?

3) Do you know of any hosting companies based in India that let us install the needed software onto a server? (I'm looking for a shared hosting solution, and not an exclusive box). My regular hosting provider Net4India does not let me install stuff.

4) Continuing from "3" above, will hosting the blog outside India with a popularly recommended host be a better idea (than hosting it within India)? To me, cost is secondary to service, uptime, speed, and facilities & features offered.

I'd be grateful for other general tips and suggestions from your experience.

Thanks in advance
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Old 14th July 2008, 10:31   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
Now coming to my questions,

1) Could you recommend what I should be using: WordPress or Type Pad?

2) Will I be able to get by with minimum (dummy-like) knowledge of PHP & mySQL?

3) Do you know of any hosting companies based in India that let us install the needed software onto a server? (I'm looking for a shared hosting solution, and not an exclusive box). My regular hosting provider Net4India does not let me install stuff.

4) Continuing from "3" above, will hosting the blog outside India with a popularly recommended host be a better idea (than hosting it within India)? To me, cost is secondary to service, uptime, speed, and facilities & features offered.

I'd be grateful for other general tips and suggestions from your experience.

Thanks in advance
I use Yahoo Business hosting to host couple of sites with blog, photo gallery and community and hope the below helps.

1) Wordpress is good (my 2 blog sites runs on this) and i have no idea about Type pad. Yahoo hosting give this as add-on and is simple to install and use

2) Minimume Knowledge is enough to maintain and manage the sites.

3) I'm using service from "Yahoo Small business" -> Web hosting

4) As i have been using this for more the 6 months i have not faced any issues including the uptime of the site. The help that they provid is also good.

Below is the list of guddies that we get from "Yahoo Small business" -> Web hosting

* unlimited Space
* unlimited bandwith usage
* Domain name
* 1000 E-mail id on the domain name
* ftp on domain name
* MySQL preinstalled - with admin site for managing MySQL
* Free Site builder (Easy to use)
* Site Statistics
* Search Engine submitting
Free Add-ons (Can be activated / de-activated) if need
* Wordpress
* Gallery (Photo Gallery App)
* Nuke (Community App)
* visitor counter
* Bulletin
* Guestbook

Cost : $36 for three months and $10 for domain name one year. (First three month would cost $27 as there is some offer running)
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Old 14th July 2008, 10:38   #3
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Default Try Drupal

Apart from wordpress try Drupal. This is more advanced than WordPress and can be configured after reading documents.

There are many themes available for Drupal for free. Above all Drupal is also OpenSource.
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Old 14th July 2008, 11:03   #4
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Quote:

1) Could you recommend what I should be using: WordPress or Type Pad?
Wordpress

Quote:
2) Will I be able to get by with minimum (dummy-like) knowledge of PHP & mySQL?
Yup, without any sweat. If you get stuck somewhere, there's plentiful online manuals available. I didn't know anything about softwares (business background), but learnt a good amount from running Team-BHP.

Quote:
3) Do you know of any hosting companies based in India that let us install the needed software onto a server? (I'm looking for a shared hosting solution, and not an exclusive box). My regular hosting provider Net4India does not let me install stuff.
I have had only terrible experiences with Net4India. Look at the next point.

Quote:
4) Continuing from "3" above, will hosting the blog outside India with a popularly recommended host be a better idea (than hosting it within India)? To me, cost is secondary to service, uptime, speed, and facilities & features offered.
If you are willing to pay a price for premium service, I can only recommend pair Networks - World Class Web Hosting. Team-BHP has been with them since a long time. Splendid uptime & customer service. In fact, you could start off with the shared hosting packages which are not all that expensive.
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Old 14th July 2008, 12:05   #5
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Personal weblog?
go wordpress. Drupal is complicated.
As for hosting I suggest hcoop.net
Its cooperative hosting.
The "mainstream hosts" may provide more disk space, but thats useless unless you are putting in a lot of pictures.
But hcoop means some tech knowledge etc., and if you are not unix inclined, I suggest bluehost or some similar hosting.
Go to wordpress.com, they have listings of their favorite hosting services.
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Old 14th July 2008, 14:21   #6
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Thanks, guys! I will go ahead with WordPress itself.

I'll be finalising the hosting option in 2 days time. Will look at the hosting resources you've all mentioned.

@GTO, I think I'll give serious consideration to Peer Networks. After all, I too know from a visitor's perspective about how reliable TBHP's hosting has been!

@tsk1979, I'm not at all UNIX inclined. The simpler the solution, the happier I am. The blog is not a personal blog per se. I will be having the author (of the book I'm promoting) maintain the blog with daily posts on the general subject area of the book. I hope to promote other books along the same lines, written by the author through the same blog, over time.

Please do keep the suggestions flowing in. Thanks again!
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Old 14th July 2008, 14:26   #7
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Hydra, for non tech inclined
WordPress › PHP / MySQL Web Hosting
Their recommended host where you get started without any fuss is deamhost.
There is list of other hosts too.
On sites like Pair networks(Where TBHP sits), or Peer1(another highly reliable webhost) etc., you need some tech knowledge.
So for you dreamhost or bluehost would be better. They are also reputed companies and pretty reliable.
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Old 14th July 2008, 14:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
@GTO, I think I'll give serious consideration to Peer Networks.
Sure thing, let me know if I can help in any way. Just to reconfirm in case you do a google and sign up : Its Pair networks, not Peer.
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Old 14th July 2008, 19:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
I will be having the author (of the book I'm promoting) maintain the blog with daily posts on the general subject area of the book. I hope to promote other books along the same lines, written by the author through the same blog, over time.
Can I make a guess?

Is the Author, you are going to support, your Wife by any chance?

If not, them
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Old 14th July 2008, 20:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sure thing, let me know if I can help in any way. Just to reconfirm in case you do a google and sign up : Its Pair networks, not Peer.
I'll advice against Pair networks for this scenario.

Pair networks provides excellent service, but there service is not what you need.

Reason is, keeping a blog software updated requires significant work. Otherwise your blog WILL be misused by automated programs [bots] that scan for vulnerable installations.

You should choose hosting that takes care of all Wordpress issues [updates / emergency patches]. Link has already been mentioned in thread.

Just make sure:

You are buying domain name from somewhere else
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Old 14th July 2008, 21:44   #11
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@GTO, thanks for pointing that out! And thanks for the offer of help

@TSK1979, dreamhost is looking very attractive! I think I'll go with a simple setup with basic stuff (like dreamhost) for the time being, while I get the hang of things, and then go for something more powerful and with more features later.

One question to all:
Will I be able to easily port the existing content of the blog (say after 5-6 months of posts) to another server without too much hassle when I'm shifting providers? Is it just a matter of downloading the database fomr one server, uploading it to another server and then connecting the newly-updated-database with the WordPress software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arif_t01 View Post
Is the Author, you are going to support, your Wife by any chance?
Nope, not my wife. She is a very creative person with a book she's planned for, somewhere in the not-too-distant future, though. But your guess was pretty close to home: The author is my father. He's a pretty accomplished and internationally respected scholar in his field with 28 books under his belt already. This is a totally new book that's been in the making for about 15-18 years, in a totally different area. That's why I wanted to try a new way of promotion.

@NetFreak, thanks for the heads-up. I will keep this in mind. I already have the domain booked and ready (have had it ready for about 8 years now, along with a few zillion others, heh, heh).
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Old 14th July 2008, 21:51   #12
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Go wordpress way. I just wrote and article in Linux for You magazine on how easy it is to install themes and plugins. Really a breeze.
No need to learn php/mysql. Look for one click hosts. Wordpress site also offers them. I use mediatemple.net for multiple hosting at $20 a month. They use grid computing technology that allows easy scale ups. one server you can run multiple domains. And easy to use web management interface.

And yes you can take a mysql dump and upload it on another site so migration a few months or years later would not be a disadvantage.
Also look at themes that can fit your business/blogging needs easily and come with highly configurable "widgets" to control your site. See the difference on following three sites, all hosted on same server and using same wordpress and common databse:
Pass with caution! Dangers of short sightedness
desert storm
http://chaipokoda.com

Last edited by tsk1979 : 14th July 2008 at 22:02. Reason: 2 posts within 5 minutes
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