Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

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, along with some proprietary alternatives. Also joining the list is the software that powers Wikipedia and a smattering of open-source Content Management Systems.

Though there appears to be a myriad of web publishing options out there presently, 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 is never 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 focused 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 furthering 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 plugin 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.

CMS Made Simple






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 stand-alone 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.




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


This blogging tool appears to be getting a lot of praise 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 are a number of static website generators out there, but this is the only one that I actually have used to produce a website. That was a simple affair that allowed me to spend some time learning a new way of working. The result was a success, so other web presences may use this approach, and there are platforms like Tina that automate the process as well.


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. Because Ruby is the technology underlying the whole thing, your web host may need to support that too. Nevertheless, Stack Overflow decided to use it 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 had users like the BBC. Though there was an open-source version at one point, that no longer is the case, so this very much is a for-fee option.







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 way 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




The lightweight nature of this intrigues me so much that I might have checked it out when moving some websites away from WordPress and Drupal. Hugo was chosen then, so it may be that another project will allow further investigations.


Started out as a fork from b2 and is moving along a path from a dedicated blogging tool to a 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.


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