In the ever-increasing urge to become a blogging mother, finding a blog software that does what you want while not being too bloated can be an insurmountable task.
For example, if you want to use Wordpress, you have to choose between hosting it yourself (much more control over it, but requires you to have some knowledge of installing web software and requires that you have hosting already) or using wordpress's managed hosting @ https://wordpress.com/ .
Then, once you have figured out how to get a blog set up, you have to deal with the fact that there's only a handful of good themes, and that your blog will look the same as everybody else's that uses that theme, and that it's pretty difficult to modify the themes in any meaningful way.
To make matters worse, theming is much harder in Wordpress because of how complex and old it is. Sure, it's got pretty good documentation - but who wants to spend 10-20 extra hours implementing a design into a wordpress theme?
The second best alternative seems to be static site generators - they are usually super simple to theme, but they have the limitation that you can't usually author their content on the web in an accessible way, and there's absolutely no true dynamic content you can put on it (eg a proper search, though you should probably defer to google anyway for that).
Bludit is similar to Wordpress, except for a couple of key points:
- it's a flat-file CMS, meaning there's no database you need to run to use it. This has a lot of downsides, but I found it more than acceptable for my use. Allegedly there's even a search plugin? Not sure how that would work but ok.
- It's dead-simple to theme.
- It parses posts with Markdown by default (but also provides a WYSIWYG editor enabled by default, which I've disabled because I'm a pro at this stuff c'mon)
In that same vein, Bludit is similar to static site generators, except:
- it doesn't truly generate a static site, so you can have live content in your theme. The downside is that your processing requirements go up as a result. Not by much, I imagine.
- it's actually quite user friendly, has a mobile-friendly admin design, and works very well.
So I chose Bludit for this site. And so far, it's been hunky dory. It only took me an hour or so to actually throw my design into it (not counting all the design tweaks I made after-the-fact) and theming is pretty straightforward.
Theming is not so straightforward. Bludit's theme documentation, while enough to make a theme that doesn't error out, doesn't tell you how to do things like get the author's nickname, utilize the various classes available globally, or tell you how to interact with those classes.
To make matters more interesting (I'd say worse, but this is a rather small caveat for php-savvy folks like myself), it seems the only way to learn about all the available classes and variables is to simply dump all the assigned php variables and then search the source code.
<pre> <?php print_r(get_defined_vars()); ?> </pre>
Surely there must be a better way?
I haven't seen one if there is, but I also gave up on googling and just decided to dive into the source code. It's pretty well-written, so I'm not too peeved about it.
Maybe I'll make a deep dive on Bludit and document it thoroughly, then offer it up for the maintainers to steal content from.