Weblog software

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Weblog software (also called blog software or blogware) is software designed to simplify the creation and maintenance of weblogs. As specialized content management systems, weblog applications support the authoring, editing, and publishing of blog posts and comments, with special functions for image mangagement, web syndication, and moderation of posts and comments.


[edit] Server models

Many weblog applications can be downloaded and installed on user systems. Some of these are provided under free-software and open-source licenses, allowing them to used, modified, and redistributed freely. Others are proprietary software which must be licensed for a fee, although free-of-charge versions may also be available.

Other weblog applications are offered only through their developers' hosts, either free of charge or for a fee. Services are typically limited to hosting of the blog itself, but some services offer the option of using the hosted software to update a blog published elsewhere.

[edit] Clients

Maintenance through the Internet is a nearly universal feature of weblog software. This is usually done through a browser-based interface, enabling authors to create and update content on the site. Most software also supports the use of external client software to update content using common APIs such as the MetaWeblog API and the Atom Publishing Protocol. Third party developers have created many such clients, allowing bloggers to publish entries using desktop software rather than the web-based interface. The WordPress website has an extensive list of clients that support most APIs (not just WordPress).[1] Examples include ecto and MarsEdit.

[edit] Features

[edit] Post and comment management

All weblog software supports authoring, editing, and publishing of entries in the following format.

  • Title, the main title, or headline, of the post.
  • Body, main content of the post.
  • Permalink, the URL of the full, individual article.
  • Post Date, date and time the post was published.

Blog entries can optionally include the following:

  • Comments – Comments allow readers to discuss blog entries, correcting errors or otherwise expressing their opinions on the post or the post's subject.
    Services like coComment aim to facilitate discussions through comment tracking.
  • Categories (or tags) – indexes to subjects discussed by the entry
  • Trackback and or pingback – links to other sites that refer to the entry

[edit] Other features

Most weblog applications also have various linking and web syndication features. Web syndication is usually offered in the form of RSS or Atom. This allows other software (such as feed aggregators) to maintain a current summary of the blog's content. Some services and organizations also offer extended features to aid communication, such as the wiki capabilities in Socialtext and Traction TeamPage.

Many weblog applications allow the user to define static pages which can be placed into a hierarchy or tree. Such pages are often used to present information about the blog and its authors. Extensive use of pages can result in a blog that looks more like a website.

Most weblog applications support English and many other languages. The user selects a language during installation.

Post moderation requires users to register before commenting, or requires individual posts or comments to be approved by a moderator or administrator before they appear in the blog. Weblog applications use various user account systems that allow readers to post comments to a particular blog. For instance, users with Blogger accounts may comment on any Blogger blog. Other weblog applications allow users to post content or comments only to blogs where they have an account.

The posting API varies among different weblog applications. The typical interface is a form to be filled out online, with a varying number of fields. Applications such as Movable Type offer a greater number of form fields and choices than applications such as Blogger. Some applications also have plugins for Firefox that integrate into the browser's menus so that right clicking on selected text on any given web page brings up a small window that allows the user to post directly to their blog.

Most types of blogware support adding thumbnail images within blog posts. Photo blogging is a separate genre of blogging that deals primarily with images.

A new trend in blogging software is drag and drop WYSIWYG editing, which allows users to easily modify page elements on the fly. Companies pioneering this effort include Squarespace and Weebly.

[edit] Documentation and support

Different blogware packages feature varying levels of community support and documentation. Because the installation of some types of software requires an advanced knowledge of computer administration, community support and documentation can be very helpful. The web servers and database software can be more difficult to install than the blogware itself. Also a strong and active community surrounding the blogware gives advice on integrating the blogware into a personal site.

[edit] Examples

A partial list of notable weblog software follows:

[edit] User hosted platforms

Software packages installed by weblog authors to run on their own servers.

[edit] Free and open source software

These software packages are offered as free and open source software:

[edit] Proprietary software

These packages are under a proprietary software license. They may require the purchase of a license key to use them. The specific licensing terms vary but some are free of charge for personal or non-commercial use.

[edit] Developer-hosted platforms

Software services operated by the developer, requiring no software installation for the weblog author:

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

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