The blog was originally powered by b2. Sure, it was OK, it did the job, but it wasn’t terribly fancy. And when the comment spam started seriously (sometime round the end of 2003), it didn’t manage that well. So…
Following much observation of the alternatives, I plunked for WordPress. Which is open source, PHP and MySQL based and free. And fantastic. For those keeping score, I’m currently using WP 2.7 Coltrane, with a selection of themes, which can be activated from the list below, or from the sidebar.
- Boxy Blue
- My current default theme; a nice, plain 2 column theme. I particularly like the way the sidebar tidies itself up. Activate this theme
- Shaded Grey
- Another simple 2 column theme, this time in dark blue and grey. Pretty worksafe. Activate this theme
- WordPress Default (Kubrick)
- A slightly modified version of the standard WP theme. Activate this theme
- WordPress Classic
- Another old one, this was the theme that the original versions of WP shipped with, modified slightly. Because I didn’t like the colour or the way that the letters were too close together. Activate this theme
- Another fairly worksafe one, with plenty of automatic optional stuff in the background. Me likes. Activate this theme
- Nice, plain and easy to read. Job done. Activate this theme
- A very simple looking, fairly worksafe one. And easy on the eyes. Activate this theme
- Identification band 2.0 – centered Boyish style
- A very nice, three column theme, with some funky layout options. Makes the most of the screen. Activate this theme
- As plain as plain can be. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get much more worksafe than this. Activate this theme
- A nice, rounded theme in green and red. Activate this theme
- Drunk Loser
- With a name like that, how could I not try it? Activate this theme
- WP MegaPress
- Hey, it’s something different, ain’t it? Activate this theme
- Pity about the orange, but the layout is quite nice and the header is good.Activate this theme
- A port of a popular theme. This may require some playing about with before I’m happy with the layout.
- Rod’s Command Line Interface
- Just a bit of fun; a command line way of blog browsing. You want worksafe, this is about as worksafe as they come. Activate this theme
There are a lot of themes that came bundled in with the latest WP upgrade; I may get round to adding theme switcher to all of them, but I may not. If you get stuck on a theme you don’t like, simply click on the default theme link in the sidebar.
I also use a number of plugins. They are:
- Kitten’s Spam Words
- This plugin adds a ‘Delete comments as spam’ button to the comments mass editing page. When used to delete unwanted comments, the email address, url, and IP address, and any links in the comment body, will be added to your spam words list. Future comments matching any of those items will automatically be moderated.
- Spam Word Block
- If activated, any comments that contain a Spam word will be refused immediately. This checks the comment text, author, URL, email, and IP (so, you can even block IP’s).
- Turn off comments
- Temporarily turn off comments (and any other posts) on your blog. This could be useful when you are getting comment flooded etc. A near-last line of defence, and one which I don’t have to resort to that much. Any more.
- Shut off blog
- Temporarily shut off your blog. The last line of defence. I’ve only had to use it a couple of times, when the spam is really bad.
- Theme Switcher
- Allows the reader to choose from a selection of themes.
- Get Recent Comments
- Displays as many recent comments as you want where ever you want them. I’ve got the ten most recent about two thirds of the way down the sidebar.
- Search Hilite
- When someone is referred from a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or WordPress’ own, the terms they search for are highlighted with this plugin. Handy for, suprisingly, searching.
- A handy way of embedding a contact form into the site. Saves writing my email address all over the show.
- Adds linknotes to a post. Or footnotes, as we call them in the old english.
- Amazon Media Manager
- Powers the wee “recently read” thing on the sidebar, and I’ll probably do something more with it. When I can be bothered.
- A behind the scene stat counter. Just to allow me to keep track of where yez are all comming from.
- Shows some basic statists on posts/comments. The output is here.
- WordPress Navigation Bar
- This powers the wee navigation tags in the header of the blog in the WordPress Default theme.