Feb 222011

I knew that the primary purpose for this website was going to be a blog where I could post whatever interesting technology tidbits I pick up in my travels. So I had to figure out which blog engine I wanted to use. This post details some of my thinking that went into the choice.

Here were my main criteria:

  • Built with .NET
    As a programmer I prefer .NET and I want to be able to develop / modify extensions if necessary.
  • Easy to install / maintain
    I am creating this blog in order to post about stuff I’m interested in, not to learn the ins and outs of a particular blogging platform. The blog engine should stay out of my way as much as possible.
  • Code syntax highlighting
    I know I’ll be posting a lot of code on this blog, using syntax highlighting has to be easy.
  • Future dated posting
    I want the ability to future date a post so it will appear automatically when that date arrives. This allows me to be proactive about regular posting.
  • Easy to theme
    I am proficient with HTML / CSS / ASP.NET so I definitely want to be able to make tweaks to the theme. However, I am not great a creating designs from whole cloth, so having a rich set of prebuilt themes to choose from was a necessity.

My first choice, which turned out to be a bad idea, was to use DotNetNuke. It is the Cadillac of .NET content management systems, and it has a blogging module. If you are going to run a large website, with many different sections, purposes, etc., DNN is a good choice as a platform. But if your primary purpose is to have a blog, it seems like overkill. I installed it, and played around with it for a couple hours, and made exactly zero progress. At that point I took a step back and realized a blogging engine, as opposed to a CMS, suited my needs better.

There are plenty of .NET based blog engines out there, and dasBlog, Subtext, and BlogEngine.NET seemed like the top choices. All three of them look like mature, extensible options that meet my criteria well. In doing a bit of googling I got the sense that BlogEngine.NET was generally highly regarded among these choices. And, it was the first in the list of blog applications in my web host’s “install web applications” control panel. That was enough for me, so I installed it and after a bit of trouble with page performance, which I will cover in another post, it was up and running.

Now I just have to figure out something to post about, and I should be all set. :-)

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