The site is been hosted by DreamHost. This means I got close to infinite storage and bandwidth (at least it feels like it). They are also hosting at a great price with possibility for some great discounts (See my $97 discount). They have a great list of supported packages, such as WordPress.
I’m using WordPress 2.3, which was a one-click install from the control panel from DreamHost. I have not used any other blogging systems so I’m not in a position to compare them other solutions but I have been pretty happy with it from the first day. It is also very flexible, as you can change theme and there are LOTS of plugins to add any extra functionality you might want. If you know your way around PHP then you can also add your own of course.
With just hosting and WordPress 2.3 it is possible to get started with blogging…
After lots of searching and testing I finally came to the xMark theme by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. This theme was close to what I wanted, widget support, 3 columns, nice layout, easy to change if needed by editing a style sheet, directly support for the plug in for archives page and Share This and very easy to setup for SiteMap. I have done some small modifications myself but if you compare my site with the xMark one then you will notice some changes but not a lot. Lisa has been a great help with some of the questions I had. Thumbs up for good support.
I will probably come back from time to time to do small changes to the theme and surely also to the layout of the columns.
I use a good few plugins and also here I would expect things to change over time. These are the ones I use at the moment:
- Akismet, version 2.0.2
This plug in works as a Anti-spam system for comments. Probably 90% of all WordPress users are using this plug in (just my guesstimate). Maybe there are alternatives but I never investigated it. It has caught around 2000 spam comments so far, so saved me a good bit of time.
- Adsense-Deluxe, version 0.8
This plug in makes it easy to define AdSense codes that can be inserted into posts, so I can decide while writing the post if I want any AdSense ads in it or not. To add a AdSense I just have to type <–AdSense–> (example) and the Google AdSense ad will appear. Also makes it possible to disable a group of them. Also gives one places to change the look of them all if needed. So no more adding AdSense code into the php files directly.
- DiggClick, version 1.3
This is not the latest version of DiggClick (1.4 is the latest one) but I’m no longer able to find it. The old web site that hosted the plugin is no longer working and the email address I had to the author is also no longer working.
At the start of all my posts I have the DiggClick icon, letting people submit the post to Digg or allow them to Digg my post.
- Google Analyticator, version 1.54
Plug in that handles any java script code needed for Google’s Analytics. Too just a few minutes with this plug in to get the analytics up and running
- Google XML Sitemaps, version 3.0
Plugin for creating sitemaps xml files that Google can use directly.
- Share This, version 1.4
The xMark theme got direct support for this great plugin, see the green icon at the end of this post, try to click on it and you will know what Share This is about.
- SRG Clean Archives, version 4.2
The xMark theme also got direct support for creating archives but requires this plugin. Do check the archive pages and see how nice they are :)
- WordPress Database Backup,version 2.1.3
Backup and backup again. I’m always paranoid about loosing data, especially after a hard disc crash that cost us a good few thousand to get restored. So automatic and manual backup is something that may NOT be skipped. This plugin makes it all so easy, creates backup of all databases used by the blog.
- wp-cache, version 2.1.2
Always let the cache speed things up when possible, specially when it can all be adjusted by a nice plugin.
- WP-ContactForm, version 2.0.7
See my contact page for what this form can do. Replace your email address with a contact form.
I’m always looking for new plug ins and widgets that can improve the site, both for myself (need a new text editor plug in) and for the viewers/readers.