Blog Design Solutions: All you need to know about blog setup and design
Setting up a blog is ridiculously easy. What's not so easy is configuring it to your own design. You don't want it to look like thousands, if not millions of other blogs. Armed with this book, you'll be well on your way to creating a blog that has "you" stamped all over it.
After Phil Sherry sets the scene and describes some of the essential technology that you'll need to be familiar with, it's my turn (David Powers) to guide you through setting up a local testing environment with PHP, Perl and MySQL on your local computer. Although it's not essential to have a local testing environment, it's definitely a good idea. Instead of showing the world all your mistakes, you can polish the design on your own computer, and then stun everyone with your brilliant design. The instructions have been written with the non-programmer in mind, and they cover both Windows and Mac OS X.
Four leading blogging tools
Most of the rest of the book is devoted to four of the most popular blogging tools: Movable Type, ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and TextPattern. With the exception of Movable Type, they're all built with PHP and are highly configurable. A separate chapter written by expert users is devoted to each tool. Andy Budd is your guide to Movable Type, Simon Collison positively enthuses about ExpressionEngine, Chris J Davis and Michael Heilemann bring you the lowdown on WordPress, and John Oxton shows you how to get up and running with TextPattern.
There's no hype about one tool being better than another, so you get honest advice that will help you work either with the blog engine of your choice or to decide which is the one for you. Although the unlimited versions of ExpressionEngine and Movable Type require a paid-for licence, there are free versions to help you make your choice.
Why not roll your own with PHP and MySQL?
If you don't like any of the third-party solutions on offer, in the final chapter Richard Rutter shows you how to build your own blog engine from scratch.
All you need now is the inspiration for the design—and then you can dazzle the world with your wit and wisdom.