I just finished installing and setting up WordPress on my site as my blogging software. This being the first time that I setup any blog software (I briefly used Blogger but they do all the heavy lifting) I thought that I’d write about some of my experiences.
I picked WordPress because it was offered by my host (host monster) and I had heard good things about it from others. I made my choice almost exclusively on word of mouth. I didn’t even read the manual first (don’t tell my father ;-). So I brazenly told Fantastico to install WordPress. I was then presented with about 20 fields that I needed to fill in, some of which were obvious and many that were not. Needless to say (which is a stupid phrase that means I’m going to say it anyway), having not read the documentation at all, I got it wrong. This, plus a few other mistakes (hey I was playing around to learn), caused my to mess up things to the point that I didn’t know how to clear them up so I ended up getting my entire account reset.
So I tried again only this time I read the documentation first. Man is this complicated. There are way too many details that have to be worked out before you start–many can be done afterwards but are a little more difficult. Now this is not meant to disparage WordPress as I am fairly sure that they all have the same concerns.
The majority of the issues relate to SPAM and other attacks. I have been using computers for since Usenet was mail based (using UUCP as the transport) and even then there were problems but they were almost exclusively because of flame wars. So moderated newsgroups were created. But all you had to do was say “this newsgroup is moderated.” Now it’s not the flame wars (although there are still a few around) but the SPAM. Now I have to decide whether anyone can post or just registered users, whether registered users can post unmoderated or just those that have at least one moderated post, do I want to use a SPAM filter service, etc. So many choices that have absolutely nothing to do with the blog. By the time you get through with all of those who cares what color the background is or what the header of your page looks like. It is so overwhelming.
Anyway, I have it up and running in a form that I hope is reasonably usable without requiring too much work on the poster part (or mine). We’ll have to see.