Publishing by Blog, Wiki, or html?

design

#1

I’d appreciate the suggestions of anyone who has an opinion on this: I want to start publishing some articles on my web site for my clients to read. It is not necessary for there to be any comments back. At first I thought that blogging software would be the way to go, but now that I’ve installed and tested WordPress I’m unsure. Does anyone here have an opinion on the relative merits for my purposes of using blogging software, a wiki, or just html pages?


JN


#2

Wiki, blog, etc. are great when you need feedback. However if you only want your users to read the articles, then they have too much overhead. Html will do what you need, I recommend that you take this extra time to learn javascript, php, or the like to handle any unforseen events in the future.
Silk


#3

I like a web interface for publishing (so I can update during lunch at work, while travelling, etc.) - so I like some sort of CMS (content management system) even for static web sites. I particularly like ExpressionEngine although pMachinePro is now free and I also use Drupal on a club site.


#4

One of the benefits of using a blogging engine, even if you aren’t looking for feedback, is the ease of use for you, the writer/editor, and the built-in organizing and search features.


#5

[quote]Does anyone here have an opinion on the relative merits for my purposes
of using blogging software, a wiki, or just html pages?

[/quote]

Try as I might, and even with half the company espousing their virtues, I have yet to drink the wiki Kool-Aid. I suspect it’s more an implementation detail than anything, as most of the wikis I’ve seen seem to be aimed toward wiki-lovers (and, thus, have some rather odd usage and interface conventions). Perhaps when someone creates a wiki-for-the-rest-of-us I’ll enjoy using them more.

If I were in your position, I’d probably go with a weblogging engine with modified templates. Despite appearances to the contrary, these tools can be pretty powerful, and aren’t just a place to say what your dog ate for breakfast.

I wouldn’t do much of anything of any sizable scale with manually created HTML pages, though. Just about every site I’ve created since 2000 or so has either been based on a readily available CMS, generated on the fly using a single PHP/Perl script I wrote, or was written to disk by a single PHP/Perl script I wrote. With all of these options, odds are very good that a database of some kind actually held the ‘content’ of my site. In each case, my end goal was to be able to make global changes to a lot of files with the least amount of work.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#6

I use the open source CMS called Mambo for what you are describing. It is very easy to administer once you set it up. Here is the URL for it: http://www.mamboserver.com/


#7

Jeff I’m with you on the wiki thing. I absolutely abhor them. I find them ugly, overly complicated, and not very user friendly. I think the only people that really “get them” are those who have bothered to spend time to learn the language of the wiki.

For the casual user I think they’re currently a horrendous idea.

bryan | website


#8

It takes about 10 minutes to learn enough wiki syntax to make a contribution.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#9

For you, but wiki language just doesn’t jive well with the way my brain works and I’m sure there are many others like me.

But beyond that wiki’s are complicated just as an end user. It’s not simple, it’s not easy. In the end I don’t find them the best resource for the consumer. At least not at this point. Maybe once someone creates a wiki that is user friendly that would change.

bryan | website


#10

[quote]For you, but wiki language just doesn’t jive well with the way my brain works and I’m sure there are many others like me.

But beyond that wiki’s are complicated just as an end user. It’s not simple, it’s not easy. In the end I don’t find them the best resource for the consumer. At least not at this point. Maybe once someone creates a wiki that is user friendly that would change.[/quote]
I cannot understand where you are coming from here. Wiki markup is about as simple as it gets without resorting to a WYSIWYG editor. Wikis are probably the most user-friendly content management system in existence, which is why things like the Wikipedia have become so popular. Have you looked at the editing guide?


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#11

If you are comfortable with writing HTML, go with it!

I have been playing with all three. A blog and a wiki will let you edit your pages from a web browser, but if you are OK with using a shell account, UNIX text editors, html tags, and most of your content is text, you can construct and edit pages by using ssh to access your Dreamhost sites from about anywhere.

The availability of shell accounts is one of the major reasons I chose DreamHost.


#12

I agree that the WIKI language is very hard to understand. I know HTML and hand code, and I handle bb code pretty well - but WIKI code just does jive with me. I think part of the problem is that it looks like a mix of other languages - I see php and html, and some other stuff.

You have to use
to break off a line, but you have to press enter twice to get a new paragraph - not just use

tags. And why go to all the work to re-invent the wheel when you can accomplish the same things by learning html.

Maybe HTML is not a fair comparision, the wiki tags seem abit less complicated to remember. But still, what’s the point of having to learn a new language over some simple text editing? Maybe inregrating a WYSIWYG entry editor would be the easiest way to go.

Oh well…

-Matttail


#13

Thanks for the many responses. A few comments: I had tried going the CMS route. After reviewing several contenders, I chose Mambo for several reasons. However, I found an appalling lack of helpful documentation, particularly for customization. I know it can be done, but I could not figure out how to do it. Maybe when my site grows enough, I’ll go back (by then, perhaps they’ll have written the rest of the manual). I finally settled on WordPress, with a customized template so it blends in to the rest of my site (which is html/css). Ultimately, I do want to get to the point that Jeff described, which is to have the content in one place and the organizing/formatting done fairly automatically (wait… like a CMS!) As for PHP, I thinking knowing it would help, but I’m actually heading in the opposite direction: trying to do less on my own instead of more, so someone who really knows about browser bugs can code around them…


JN