Colophon

What did I use to build this blog? First of all, you will notice I am using WordPress. I looked briefly at the alternatives, but the thing that made me stick with WordPress is that they lack a lot of features and more importantly the WordPress community is amazing (numerous themes and plugins). Granted, a lot of plugins are badly written or out of date… but it’s still better than nothing.
Anyway, I discovered a pretty promising blog engine, Zine, written in Python and using the impressive SQLAlchemy.

The only thing I miss with WordPress is the ability to use another markup language in the posts; I can’t stand WYSIWYG editors but I don’t like writing raw HTML either. Earliest versions supported Markdown but it has been dropped progressively.

The Theme

I used the Thematic Theme Framework. There are many other Theme Frameworks for WordPress, like Hybrid or even K2. These theme frameworks usually come with very good HTML (semantic classes, microformats, SEO optimization, you name it) and a basic CSS. I wanted something light, and Hybrid’s website annoying and clearly too greedy; K2 is amazing but a bit too much. I then created a child theme.

The Plugins

There are many plugins for WordPress; that’s why it’s easy to miss very good plugins. Here is what I use.

SEO

Google XML Sitemaps and All-In-One SEO Pack. They are really popular and vital plugins. I use SEO Pack mainly to disable indexing of anything that would lead to duplicate content (archive pages, etc.) and to insert my validation codes in the home pager header. Redirection can automatically create redirections if you change the slug of a post (and it can do much more too).
By the way, you’ll notice that my permalinks are different than the default; I didn’t include the day number. I don’t think users generally care for it.

Stats

FeedBurner FeedSmith redirects the feed to FeedBurner, Ultimate Google Analytics… well, you guess.

Microformats

Most microformats are already handled by the theme. WpLicense includes a Creative Commons license information in the feed and page, MicroID provides MicroID for the blog, posts, and comments and XRDS Simple is a requirement to run an OpenID server.

Publicity

Sociable provides links to popular social bookmarking services. WP Greet Box greets users and encourages them to subscribe to my RSS feed and vote for me me depending on where they come from.

Antispam

Simple Trackback Validation just should be integrated with WordPress. Mollom is like Akismet but better: it can use OpenIDs (reputation) and provides a captcha to recover your comment. http:BL queries Project Honeypot (more about that later) to block spammers before they try to comment or even spider your site. DoFollow rewards good commenters by removing the “nofollow” rel attribute on certain conditions.

Markup

CodeHighlighter for code syntax highlighting using GeSHi. WP-Footnotes1.

Pages

I actually used only one of these three plugins but they are very useful and surprisingly unpopular; Page Menu Editor, Page Links To and Exclude Pages from Navigation.

Other

Smart Archives Reloaded provides a really nice Archive page listing every post from the start. OpenID allows commenters to prove it’s really them commenting (plus, they get a nice icon) and users to login with an OpenID rather than a password. Simple Tags introduces some nice additions to the standard WordPress tag system, like tag suggestion.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 2009-04-13 at 1514 | Permalink
    Firefox 3.0.8 Firefox 3.0.8 Windows XP Windows XP
    That is an interesting list of plugins, particularly Mollom instead of the default Akismet & WP Footnotes. I will be checking out a few of them.

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