As ever I have trouble finding out which language to use when I write, and who knows, even when I think. I have been writing in English the last years, but I try to speak Danish in my normal life (not to mention the other languages that are running around somewhere in my head).
Lately I started writing some more things in Danish, and as I didn’t know where to put these on this English blog, I decided to add a wordpress.com blog in danish to it. Just to keep things gathered in the right places. I’ll just see what happens with it, as I don’t want to force me to use a certain language. When I read a book in Danish or Dutch, my natural reaction is to write about it in its language, and the same happens when I listen to a radio program, a video or whatever.
For now I decided to try not to worry about it, even though I know that as a result of changing languages none of them will perhaps be used in an eloquent way, but I will put my trust in the eventual power of simplicity. I have to.
It was a wish to create a frontpage on my homepage that made me decide to move the entire blog from bartwestgeest.dk/blog to bartwestgeest.dk. Now I publish the blog in the same bw.dk/blog but use WordPress.org to publish a static page under bw.dk.
A new subject: Writing Tools
I added a number of posts from another blog that I decided to give up. That was a blog about writing software. It took me too much time to maintain it as ambitious as I had set it up, but since I still like the subject I decided to merge it into this blog and to work on it whenever I feel like doing so. That part is added under the menu item “writing tools” with posts under the category “tools“. I have moved the connected diigo account with lots of “writing tools links” to my own diigo account, and as soon as I have cleaned up the mess I plan to add a link to it here on my blog.
At the occasion of the movement I had another look at the theme available for WordPress.org, but after another evening pleasantly surfing from theme to theme I decided that the theme I was already using, the Igloo theme by Bizzthemes.com, actually serves me well. I even decided to buy the premium version. The free version of the theme works very well, but the payed version gives some more design tweaking possibilities and things like shortcode and slider-settings etc. In pure theory it would have been possible to tweak everything myself, but that would have taken me months, if not years, as I know practically nothing about coding. And as a member of bizzthemes.com I have access to the forum and direct messages to other members and the maker of the theme, so help is always near. The company is very young, let’s hope it becomes a success with lots of members and possibilities.
As I now can add pages and connect them through the frontpage I have the possibility to fill up my webhotel with whatever I want using WordPress and the Igloo theme. Apart from growing the blog-section and the writing-tools section, I hope to put some texts there, maybe longer articles or anything that I would like the reader to spent more time on than an average blog post. But who knows, maybe it will turn into something completely different.
I made a change in my WordPress setup two days ago that I couldn’t undo and as a result this blog didn’t show up properly. I think I made WordPress make a change in the .htaccess file.
It was possible to reinstall the blog by visiting (…../blog/)wp-admin/install.php in my browser but since it wanted to create a new database it demanded for the old databases to be deleted first.
Luckily I have a plugin installed called WordPress Database Backup that sends me a backup of the database every week. So I could delete the database, reinstall WordPress and reinstall the database again and everything was back to normal
I was happy with the Statement-theme by BlogOhBlog that I used, but decided at this unfortunate occasion to switch to this Igloo-theme from BizzArtic nevertheless as it seems to have many more options and I have good experiences with BizzArtic. I have not tweaked all things properly yet, but I hope to fix that soon.
The feedburner feed is a mess for example, as I can not access the old feedburner.com feed. Feedburner has been taken over by Google so now the feedburner address feedburner.com links to feedburner.google.com, where my feed unfortunately doesn’t show up in the list of feeds I own. So for now I ran the feedburner feed through feedburner, producing an interesting http://feeds.feedburner.com/feedburner/iILz link.
After 20 days of reading, building and experimenting with Drupal I finally got my new blog up and running… in WordPress. It took me 5 hours to make WP work for me and I am rather satisfied already, convinced that it can function as a Contents Management System as well
The final reason why I turned away from Drupal was that it took me too long to find out which navigation system was best for my Drupal site. I had a thorough look at taxonomy and the taxonomy- and taxonomy menu module, the menu options, primary and secondary links, but couldn’t figure out how best to use it for my purpose. The only thing I achieved was the creation of a tagcloud for the blogpart of the site using taxonomy and the tagadelic module. But it was disappointing to see that for that I needed extra modules and some thinking to install it, and that creating a category “widget” was rather impossible for me at the moment. And I knew that I still had a long way to go, finding out about the complicated views-module and the CCK module for example, and that it would take me a couple of weeks more to get the basics in place.
Maybe it was the amount of choice and the many different opinions and manuals that frustrated me. Drupal probably can do more than WordPress, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it is easier to take the right decisions.
Drupal is a good choice for those that want to build up a more complex site from scratch without having to write code from the first line to the last. Or people who enjoy learning and discovering the possibilities of this particular system.
For an end user like me, eager to write content and to get started, it is not userfriendly enough yet.
Probably as a reaction to my struggle the last weeks to understand the terminology and manuals I now choose a nice WordPress theme (out of the richness of well functioning themes) with many features that work right out of the box – not very challenging or creative perhaps -but I actually like it a lot and it works well. Now I can start blogging and tweak the site as it develops.
After some years experimenting with several blogging systems as for example Blogger and WordPress.com and .org I almost by coincidence, finally, understood what a Content Management System (CMS) actually is. As I had been thinking about starting a (yet another) new blog/homepage, I had a look at some background information and got interested in Drupal. As my web-hotel provider only allows one mySQL database per domain I decided to buy a new webhotel to install and experiment with Drupal.
Now, a little more than a week later, I start to get closer to understanding what such a CMS is. I read the beginner-chapters on Drupal.org and the “cookbook” that also can be found there, and I now know that Drupal is software that tries to make it easier to build a homepage without losing too much of the flexibility when building one using templates. Unlike for example WordPress, Drupal doesn’t work with “standard” pages that together form a blog, but it constructs blocks of information or content that can be used on different places and in different combinations. In Drupal you don’t build a page but you build blocks that appear whenever the presence is triggered by someone clicking a link or a query… something like that.
This makes Drupal more flexible than for example WordPress but it definitely also makes it harder to understand its concept for a beginner like me. Drupal has many modules that can be installed to add functionality to the core, but it is not easy to know which ones are needed now or later. One has to understand the basic concept of Drupal first and then one has to plan a website/blog well before the actual building can start.
WordPress is proud of the fact that it “only takes 5 min” to install and start running a blog with their software. Drupal will might take a week for most people but it probably indeed can add more functionality to a site. When used clever it can for example fairly easily handle multiple users with different rights and possibilities for each and every block of information or adapt a site to the operating system or the location of a visitor. It has different ways of building menus and can create many types of input or output “blocks” that can be placed in the often many places/regions on a page that the chosen theme allows.
I am not perfectly sure whether I really need all this, I actually don’t at the moment, and at some occasions during the last week a quick switch to WordPress definitely crossed my mind, but for now the learning process is exciting and might provide good possibilities later.
I look forward to continue building and to start using Drupal, as I sense that all the explanations, suggestions, instructions and information about possibilities I read this week can make it more confusing than it actually is.