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Hello Everyone,


I'm currently using WordPress. Eventually, I want to code my own blog from scratch. I don't need to do this "tomorrow", either. But I do want to get away from WordPress (I have my reasons); and I don't want to use a framework ( I have good reasons for this, too).


I plan to have this done by June 2014, and I will begin on February 5. I will also post my progress and questions here.


For the next two weeks, I will gather my requirements. What features should I include in my blog? More clearly, what features MUST I have? What features would be NICE to have? I know it's "up to me"; but I'd like to hear great suggestions.


Thank you.



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Make sure you don't feature-creep your project. "Nice-to-have"s easily becomes "might-be-useful-some-day"s. Start out by gathering good requirements and make a solid plan with good milestones for development. Start out bare-bones and add the basic functionality first so you can quickly view some result, then refactor your code and add nice-to-haves later. It's very easy to become distracted and hung-up in specifics along the way.


Besides that, I don't really feel I can contribute in a meaningful way. :)

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I agree with Antonio. Also, I'm a firm believer in launching with a solid, bare-bones implementation, and then building onto something post launch. If you don't do that, you may get stuck in the development stages forever, and never actually launch.


As far as features, I think the two keys to a blog are that it's easy to read and navigate around as a user reading the blog, and that as the maintainer of the blog, it's easy to add and edit entries. For the latter, you will want a nice text editor interface (you may or may not want to attempt this from scratch), and you will want a nice interface for searching/filtering through all blog posts, etc.

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I'm just starting a blog and my first step was to find out where I want that blog and get a few posts onto it. (Start small like Antonio and HarleySan advised)
I tried blogger but I don't like the interface, etc.
I tried WordPress and I don't like it at all.
Someone suggested weebly.com, I tried it and I love it.
But which blog host you pick really is very personal, depending what type of interface you like and many other things.
So early on, find out where you want to be. I had 5 posts up and I am now almost finished moving everything over.
Up until now, I wanted to code everything myself. But I put most of my time into my website and how much time does someone have to add on top of that a blog, facebook, twitter, and on and on?
So for me, I wanted to find a blog host that would do all that for me, as many people do.
Probably WordPress doesn't let you do what you want or it is too cumbersome. Or it might be you have time to code it yourself and your blog might be your main project. (unlike my website)
Also probably you can do better SEO if you code it yourself.

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This is a practicum for me. I can use all the concepts (and much of the code) in this book. It will generally make me a better programmer; and I'll end up with a template I can actually use for myself and clients. This thing is neither "aggressive" or overly ambitious because I'm staying focused on what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I have to stay curious, disciplined, and reasonable.




Yours is sage advice. Your contribution was meaningful and I appreciate it. It's easy to get so caught up in the "subjective" that we miss the "objective". I agree that the sober approach would be to make a solid, working blog and add the other features little-by-little. Again, I'm in no hurry.


Thank you, Antonio. :)


Hartley San,


I appreciate your having confirmed Antonio's advice. Regarding the search feature? That is on my list. Regarding the text editor interface? Yeah, I will program that, too. It is, again, a practicum for me.


Thank you, Hartley San.




One of my several problems with WordPress is that it can be a bit cumbersome. Also, too, I sometimes feel (or know) that I'm "cutting corners" when I use it; and, no, it doesn't make one a better programmer. I would argue that (with a few notable exceptions), the only people who are better programmers for using WordPress are the people who created it and daily maintain its core.


To wit, the WordPress forums (and others) are rife and replete with people who "hack its core" without understanding a blessed THING about what they are doing. Then, there are the people who madly use WP plugins without understanding the far-reaching ramifications/detriments of their use. And, I'm sorry, but in the long run I'd like to be the dude who handles (directly) my own site security; and (as you noted) my own SEO.


Then, in general and from past experience, I know how HartleySan is. He/she is just dogged and stubborn about doing things on his/her own, and it has made me feel okay with being the same way. And then, of course, there's Larry; and I needn't say more about that.


I took a look at Weebly, too. Nah. It's good to know it's there, though. I just want to write my own code for a while, get some stuff done, and see where it leads me.


Thanks again, Abigail.


Back to everybody.


Life almost took me away from learning PHP (in fact, it almost took me away from breathing). That's why I haven't been around.


Anyhow, I did my own research. Here's my little list:

  1. User registration
  2. Search
  3. Archives
  4. About page
  5. Commenting System
  6. Comment SPAM Prevention
  7. Editing System/Text Editor Interface
  8. RSS
  9. Contact Page

I think this will do for now. I'd love to hear back from you all (or anyone else for that matter).


Thank you.



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Yes, probably more than anyone else on this site, I am opposed to using PHP frameworks and JS libraries like jQuery.

That doesn't mean they don't have their uses though, and it doesn't mean that you can't learn a lot of best practices by actually studying the code within them, but yes, with a little bit of self study, there's no reason you can't do the same things those frameworks/libraries do, and better, because you can better customize the code to fit your individual needs for a specific site.


Roland, best of luck, and please report back here with regular status updates, so we can hear how things are going.

Also, I'm glad to hear that whatever big event happened in your life was successfully overcome.

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Yes, you will not become a better programmer using any of the blog hosts. Maybe you would learn a LITTLE html but that is it. The reason people are so excited about feature or plug-in at WP is they don't want to program (like I don't want to program my blog) so if they need everything provided for them or do without it.

I'm certainly not trying to talk you into not programming it yourself. I also have always preferred to program it myself but for me, I already have my website for that and no more time to take on yet another project. And for me, getting my blog up fast and easy is number one priority and weebly has done that for me.

So if Better Programmer is your objective then your plan will do it.

I would suggest consider Social Media Icons (which you probably know already) and also will you write versions for desktop and mobile.

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