A traditional website is the gold standard of the web world. It’s infinitely flexible—able to chronicle a personal trip to Machu Picchu just as well as it powers an e-commerce storefront.
However, there’s something distinctly unspontaneous about a website. For example, imagine you want to post a piece of gossip about a celebrity sighting in your hometown. Before you can share your thoughts with the rest of the word, you need to pick a web page file name, decide what HTML markup you’ll use, determine how you’ll link your page to other pages (and edit them if necessary), and so on. None of these tasks is really that difficult, but taken together, they’re enough to discourage casual web authors from writing anything that doesn’t seem worth the trouble.
That’s where blogs fit into the picture. Blogs are a self-publishing format that gets your thoughts online quickly and easily, while avoiding the headaches of website management. They’re a fresh, straightforward, and slightly chaotic way to communicate on the Web. To maintain a blog, you publish short entries whenever the impulse hits you. High-powered blogging software collects, chronologically organizes, and presents your blog posts on web pages. That means that if you don’t want to fuss with the fine details of website management, you don’t need to. All you need to worry about is sending in postings—and with some blogging software, that’s as easy as firing off an email.
In this chapter you’ll learn how blogs work, and ...