How to Choose Blogging Software - dummies

How to Choose Blogging Software

When deciding on blogging software, you’ll find that each brand will have many options to consider. Whichever blogging software you choose, it should give you easy access to a publishing/posting tool. If you install some software and can’t find something like that, you’ve probably installed the latest copy of some popular icon smiles program.

Good blogging software must have the following:

  • A usable publishing interface or control panel: Check out how the control panel looks before you commit yourself. A good user interface is important, and if you can’t make sense of what you see, chances are good that you won’t enjoy using the software.

  • Comments: A blog isn’t a blog unless your readers can leave comments on your posts. You don’t have to use the comments, but blogging software without comments takes away a vital element of blogging.

  • Spam deterrents: Spam comments are a part of every blog, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Like e-mail spam, comment spam tends to be an automated process that posts useless information with links to all kinds of other sites on your blog posts. Look for blogging software that has functionalities in place to help you moderate and block spam.

  • Pinging: A blog software package that uses pinging services is a great idea. And if search engines know you have new content, more people can find your blog.

  • RSS feeds: If your blog software doesn’t have an RSS feed, move on to different blog software. If you’re at all interested in building traffic to your blog, an RSS feed is the single best built-in software feature you can have to meet that goal.

Once you have the blogging basics in a software package, you’re ready to look at the many upgrades you can add to your blog:

  • Trackbacks: Trackbacks are a useful technology that allows bloggers to link to blog posts on related topics. If your blog software is trackback-enabled, you can link to another blog simply by using the URL of the original posting. In this automatic process, your blog software lets another blogger’s software know that a post has been referenced so that a link can be created on the original post.

  • News aggregation: One of the handiest features of blogging software is the ability to aggregate news by using RSS feeds. Having a news aggregator included with your blog package allows your site to pull in information from another blog. You can then provide this information to your readers, offering them content from other sources.

  • Spam blacklist: Most blogging packages have some kind of blacklist protection against spam comments. These blacklists are often centralized lists of e-mail addresses, URLs, and IP addresses used by spammers that are then forbidden in any blog post on your blog. With an up-to-date blacklist, a lot of spam is stopped before it becomes a comment.

  • Spam whitelist: Some blogging software includes the ability to use a whitelist where you pre-select the users that can comment. This type of system, however, is being quickly replaced by spam filtering systems and blog user accounts.

  • CAPTCHAs: CAPTCHAs are images that display letters and/or numbers that a person can read but a machine can’t. When a comment is left on a post, these letter/number combinations must be typed into a comment field correctly to prove to the blog software that the commenter is indeed a human and not a computer spam system