by Eszter Hargittai on December 5, 2004

I’ve been meaning to post about the blogging software WordPress and a recent announcement from our hosting service Dreamhost now gives me even more reason to do so. WordPress is a great free blogging software that I decided to use for my own blog back in the summer when I was upgrading various parts of my site. It is free both in the sense that you don’t have to pay for a copy and in the sense that you have the freedom to modify its code. It is filled with wonderful features such as no rebuilding when making changes to your template and efficient ways of dealing with comment spam. WordPress is committed to offering cool features of other programs such as MT’s Trackback. It also offers importers for Movable Type, Greymatter, Blogger, b2, and Textpattern with others forthcoming (Nucleus and pMachine). Moreover, it is quite easy to install, definitely much more straight forward than some other programs such as Movable Type. When they say it takes five minutes they aren’t kidding (granted, some more general prior technical knowledge can be very helpful).

But wait! If you don’t have five minutes to spare (and perhaps you’re lacking some of those technical basics) then Dreamhost is the way to go. A few days ago they announced automatic installation of WordPress on Dreamhost accounts. We at CT use Dreamhost for our hosting service as do I for my own sites. I highly recommend them. Their prices are extremely reasonable and the services just keep getting better.[1]

Once you are done with the installation, all sorts of styles are available to alter the default one. For those just a tiny bit more ambitious but without the necessary prior knowledge, it’s possible to pick up the requisite PHP and CSS know-how within an afternoon (okay, based on prior HTML skills and a certain amount of geek determination) to make additional changes to the designs. All-in-all, I’ve been very happy with WordPress having used it for about three months now. And the Dreamhost install option is awesome.[2]

fn1. Full disclosure: if you sign up for their services through the above link, CT will get a referral fee.

fn2. I will be setting up blogs for about thirty students in a month so I welcome any feature that assists the process.



Yusuf Smith 12.05.04 at 7:57 pm

I considered WordPress when looking for a replacement for Blosxom, but it requires MySQL and will accept nothing else, while MT will let you use the Berkeley DB, PostgreSQL or SQLite as well. MT also lets you manage multiple blogs, unlike WP. I wouldn’t mind being able to use an open-source blogging app that was more featureful than Blosxom, but for a lot of people MT is the only thing that works.


jeremy hunsinger 12.05.04 at 8:24 pm

i think you’ll find that wordpress supports postgres just fine. As for multiple blogs, that’s when you use drupal.


Yusuf Smith 12.05.04 at 8:51 pm

Jeremy: No it doesn’t. I’ve just checked the homepage. It only supports MySQL.


Nick 12.06.04 at 6:59 am

I’m currently installing WordPress to run my blog too, and it’s a hell of a lot easier than I thought it would be! As well as Dreamhost, Lycos now offer installation of WordPress as a free option on paid accounts as well.


mara 12.06.04 at 9:15 am

But… if you host with Textdrive, not only do you have the leading open source CMS pre-installed, you also have the option of donating a portion of your monthly fee to support the open source software of your choice.

Now that’s classy.

(Plus their support team is awesome.)


McDuff 12.06.04 at 9:56 am

I’ve just got my wordpress blog up and running, and have got to say that it really could have been a lot harder. I don’t have any real experience with html outside of rudimentary tinkering, but I’ve set it up to do more or less what I want it to do with a real minimum of fuss.

I’m just looking for a few more hacks that will do, say, footnotes more easily than hard-coding the anchors in a post, and I’ll be all set.


lth 12.06.04 at 11:30 am

Good value? I pay £20 per *year* for my webhosting, and that’s inc mysql, 500mb webspace and 6gb bandwidth per month.


You don’t even need to pay instantly – they’ll happily invoice you and let you start using it while they send the bill to you.

Comments on this entry are closed.