Review: WordPress

I recently installed WordPress on my webserver, to replace the standard blogging engine from Synology which was slightly lacking in the feature and presentation department. Setup was a breeze, all i had to do was extract the wordpress directory to my webfolder, configure a new SQL database, and then run the setup script. I would of liked the SQL database to have been created for me while running the config script (Yes lazy i know) but thats a minor niggle.

Out of the box WordPress gives you a very competent and  easy to understand blog user interface. It’s immediate focus is on content and not appearance, so getting started is very easy indeed, that said there are many features available (both inherently and via plugins) to tweak the layout and appearance. Themes are widely available for download which can instantly transform the look and feel of your blog with minimum effort.

Posts can be tagged and put into customised categories as you create them, wordpress then uses this metadata to create the structure of the blog, each category has a page associated with it. Of course all of this can be modified but i see little reason why you would want to change it, at least while your getting started. The plugins i mentioned can be used to add a host of added functionality to your blog, for example the Socialise plugin allows me to define which popular social networking sites i want to allow readers to link to.

Of course regular features like RSS, tagging, password protected posts, user registration, spam protection and comments are fully supported and readily available.

One thing i did fall foul of was the backup (or lack off) included with wordpress. My own fault intirely i was playing with the Permalink settings on my new blog, after spending a couple of hours adding my posts and transferring content from my old site. In my wisdom i did not think to create a backup before fiddeling, needless to say i lost everything. Anyway lesson learnt i now do a full backup of the SQL database before making any significant changes. Obviously a regular backup is always recommended, and to make life easier there are a number of Plugins to make the task easier if your not confident using MySQL.

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