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Weblog software (also called blog software or blogware) is software designed to simplify the creation and maintenance of weblogs. As specialized content management systems, weblog applications support the authoring, editing, and publishing of blog posts and comments, with special functions for image management, web syndication, and moderation of posts and comments.
Many weblog applications can be downloaded and installed on user systems. Some of them are provided under a free-software or open-source licenses, allowing them to be used, modified, and redistributed freely. Others are proprietary software which must be licensed.
Other weblog applications are offered only through their developers' hosts, either free of charge or for a fee. Services are typically limited to hosting of the blog itself, but some services offer the option of using the hosted software to update a blog published elsewhere.
Maintenance through the Internet is a nearly universal feature of weblog software. This is usually done through a browser-based interface, enabling authors to create and update content on the site. Most software also supports the use of external client software to update content using common APIs such as the MetaWeblog API and the Atom Publishing Protocol. Third party developers have created many such clients, allowing bloggers to publish entries using desktop software rather than the web-based interface. The WordPress website has an extensive list of clients that support most APIs (not just WordPress). Examples include ecto and MarsEdit.
Post and comment management
All weblog software supports authoring, editing, and publishing of entries in the following format.
- Title, the main title, or headline, of the post.
- Body, main content of the post.
- Permalink, the URL of the full, individual article.
- Post Date, date and time the post was published.
Blog entries can optionally include the following:
- Comments – Comments allow readers to discuss blog entries, correcting errors or otherwise expressing their opinions on the post or the post's subject.
- Categories (or tags) – indexes to subjects discussed by the entry
- Trackback and or pingback – links to other sites that refer to the entry
Most weblog applications also have various linking and web syndication features. Web syndication is usually offered in the form of RSS or Atom. This allows other software (such as feed aggregators) to maintain a current summary of the blog's content. Some services and organizations also offer extended features to aid communication, such as the wiki capabilities in Socialtext and Traction TeamPage.
Most weblog applications support English and many other languages. The user selects a language during installation.
Post moderation requires users to register before commenting, or requires individual posts or comments to be approved by a moderator or administrator before they appear in the blog. Weblog applications use various user account systems that allow readers to post comments to a particular blog. For instance, users with Blogger accounts may comment on any Blogger blog. Other weblog applications allow users to post content or comments only to blogs where they have an account.
The posting API varies among different weblog applications. The typical interface is a form to be filled out online, with a varying number of fields. Applications such as Movable Type offer a greater number of form fields and choices than applications such as Blogger. Some applications also have plugins for Firefox that integrate into the browser's menus so that right clicking on selected text on any given web page brings up a small window that allows the user to post directly to their blog.
Most types of blogware support adding thumbnail images within blog posts. Photo blogging is a separate genre of blogging that deals primarily with images.
Documentation and support
Different blogware packages feature varying levels of community support and documentation. Because the installation of some types of software requires an advanced knowledge of computer administration, community support and documentation can be very helpful. The web servers and database software can be more difficult to install than the blogware itself. Also a strong and active community surrounding the blogware gives advice on integrating the blogware into a personal site.
A partial list of notable weblog software follows:
User hosted platforms
Software packages installed by weblog authors to run on their own servers.
Free and open source software
These software packages are offered as free and open source software:
- Apache Roller (Java-based)
- b2evolution (PHP/MySQL)
- blosxom (Perl)
- Django (Python)
- Dotclear (PHP)
- DotNetNuke (VB.NET/ASP.NET)
- Drupal (PHP)
- Elgg (PHP)
- Frog CMS (PHP)
- Habari (PHP)
- Jaws (PHP)
- Joomla! (PHP)
- LifeType (PHP)
- Livejournal (Perl)
- Movable Type (Perl)
- Nucleus CMS (PHP)
- PivotX (PHP)
- Serendipity (PHP)
- Slash (Perl)
- Subtext (C#/ASP.NET)
- Textpattern (PHP/MySQL)
- Thingamablog (Static web page, no need for CGI, PHP or MySQL)
- Typo (Ruby on Rails)
- WordPress (PHP)
These packages are under a proprietary software license. They may require the purchase of a license key to use them. The specific licensing terms vary but some are free of charge for personal or non-commercial use.
- Telligent Community
- Traction TeamPage
- Windows Live Writer
- IBM Lotus Connections
- IBM Lotus Quickr
Software services operated by the developer, allowing no software installation by the weblog author:
- Open Diary
- Windows Live Spaces
Software as a Service platforms
Software licensed as an application to customers for use as a service on demand:
Software used for top 20 blogs
The top blogs as ranked by Technorati use a mixture between third party software such as Wordpress and that developed and maintained primarily by internal engineers, such as the system used by Gizmodo.
|1||The Huffington Post||Moveable Type|
|2||Gizmodo||Gawker bespoke software|
|4||Engadget||Unknown, design by Code and Theory|
|7||The Corner||Same CMS as National Review|
|8||Boing Boing||Movable Type|
|9||Gawker||Gawker bespoke software|
|12||The Daily Dish||Typepad|
|13||The Daily Beast|
|15||CNN Political Ticker||Unknown|
|16||Ezra Klein at Washington Post||Unknown|
|This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (May 2009)|