The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Last week I described the easiest method to start a new blog (web log): sign up for a service that hosts blogs on their own servers. Indeed, that process is usually simple and inexpensive. However, for business reasons or for personal preferences, many people will want their blogs hosted on their own servers so that the URL displayed in the top of the web browser shows a desired domain name, not that of a blog hosting service.
Another reason for installing blog software is because you might want some features that are not available on a remote hosting service. For instance, the Plus Edition articles of this newsletter are posted in a password-protected blog on this newsletter's web site at http://www.eogn.com/wp/. None of the blogging services that I found could support a separate user name and password for each reader and keep them up-to-date easily. Since the user name and password system was already installed on the eogn.com web server, putting the blog software on the same web server was the easiest solution for me.
Installing blog software on a web server is not as simple as uploading static HTML pages. Most blog software is database-driven. That is, with most blogging programs, you also must install and use a SQL database on the same web server.
Using this newsletter’s blog as an example, each article is stored in the database. When a reader wants to read an article, the information is read from the database, and a new web page is created dynamically at that moment, containing the desired article. Cascading style sheets are used to specify the appearance of the web page with colors, images, fonts, and more. Finally, the RSS news feed is updated every time a new article is posted.
All this sounds complex. In fact, it is! However, the blog software does 98% of the work. The blog owner only has to worry about initial set-up. Everything after that is semi-automatic as the blog software generates all the web pages. All the blog owner has to do is to write the new articles and copy-and-paste those articles into the blogging software.
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