Publishing Platforms

This edifice is powered by WordPress but there are other open source blogging options out there and a number of these appear below. Also joining the list is the software that powers Wikipedia and a smattering of open source Content Management Systems.

Though there seems to be a myriad of web publishing options out there at the moment, I’ll remain open to looking at whatever comes my way. For anything to be added here though, it will need to open source and allow self-hosting. The former criterion excludes options like ExpressionEngine or Perch even if there is a version available that is free of charge and I recognise that many like it. The latter constraint means that services like Blogger, SquareSpace, Tumblr or won’t be discussed here. Many may use these but this collection is meant for the do-it-yourself inclination that is in many of us. That never is to say that I look down on users of hosted publishing solutions because what you find here once started out on and, even today, I still have another active site on there.



Though there is an enterprise edition too, this is an open source Java-powered content and document management system. The community edition is available free of charge but the company behind this makes its money from the enterprise edition and the provision of support.


This is a fork of WordPress that is focussed on being more security and privacy orient. The TinyMCE editor is retained while Akismet is not part of the distribution though the latter can be added from the WordPress plugins repository. Other callbacks to WordPress servers are being removed as well to further privacy. Version numbering indicates that these may be early days for the project so it will be interesting to see how things proceed.


The advent of the WordPress Gutenberg project also inspired this project to create its own fork and it advertises a focus on business usage while sticking with the TinyMCE editor. Over time, it also may gain its own plugins repository but that is for later. Existing WordPress instances can be converted using a plugin and it also it is possible to have a stand-alone new installation just like its parent project.






Nearly a decade ago, I went looking at this and was put off by the inability to bend website theming to my will and to match other parts of the outdoor activities, photography and travel website so I left it. The opportunity to set up a standalone website dedicated to my late father’s history writings changed things recently and I decided to have another go with much more success and much less irritation than the previous dalliance.



This seems to be that rare thing, a fully featured photo publishing platform for the web. Themes, comment handling and even shopping carts are all here so there’s no need to entrust your photos to Flickr and its kind if you’re not willing to build it all yourself.


There’s no MySQL needed for this since the storage medium is XML. Could be worth a look, then.


This blogging tool appears to be getting a lot of praise in these days when WordPress is so dominant. Finding a copy to install on a server of your own needs a visit to the installation guide in the documentation or to go to its area on GitHub. There also are free and paid hosting options too and that is what is being proffered on the project’s home page. Though available as open source under the more permissive MIT licence, there clearly is a need to fund the project’s future development.


There is no database at the back of this and the content editing involves using markdown too so this is a different approach to publishing on the web. Ruby is the technology underlying the whole thing so your web host may need to support that too. Nevertheless, Stackexchange decided to use for their own blog so that is an example for you to survey.




Movable Type

This was king of the blogging hill until it upset its users but it remains very much out there having users like the BBC. In spite of the fact that it’s been around for what now feels like an age, the Open Source edition is a recent development. That may have something to do with Six Apart’s focus of the enterprise market and paid blogging services.






This uses the Smarty templating engine as the backbone of its blogging capability and very well it seems to work too. Of course, there is the need to learn a new of doing things but that’s always the way with unfamiliar technology. In this case, it is the templating language that really supplies the learning curve though a day’s effort is all that’s needed to get going. With all that’s going for it, it’s a pity that the calendar widget (or nugget as these things get called in the Serendipity world) doesn’t stop when it should and lands you one month into the future! Let’s hope that they get as far as addressing that one.



It may not feel as slick or as swish as others but I have made it do what I want for A Wanderer’s Miscellany. With its only Textile mark up language and the way that content is organised, it may come across as being more for technical folks but that can be tamed too. Plugins help on that front and I have grown to respect the flexibility. As you might have gathered, I like it.


Tiki Wiki




Wolf CMS


Started out as a fork from b2 and is moving along a path from dedicated blogging tool to more general content management system. Though I am always concerned that some succeeding version will foist something upon me that I don’t want or need, it so far has avoided this state of affairs. That’s just as well given that it turns up on nearly every website that I now run.


It might seem odd to include a document management system in here but there’s something to be said for managing the content assets that sit behind a website too.