Help for Webmasters

This post may be of interest to people who wish to set up their own site. The software I use to drive this site is called Movabletype. This is a powerful content management system. It allows me to type information directly into my web-browser, which is then published on the site. It is a little bit tricky to set up for the first time, and having an ISP which allows you to log in via a command line is pretty essential.

It comes with pre-configured templates which control the look and feel of the site. If you know HTML you can edit the templates to change the look and feel of the whole site.

I use feedburner to host the major RSS feeds. This reduces the bandwidth requirement slightly, as well as allowing relatively easy inclusion of bookmarks from del.icio.us.

Various aspects of this site are managed from crontab, this includes changing the graphics on particular days (very limited so far) and grabbing a few RSS feeds from different places. A program called rss2html.pl grabs the RSS feeds and turns them into HTML which is then included on the site, this program has been modified slightly to affect the HTML generated.

The webhost used is out-post, and I've found them to be very good. The payment is in dollars, but this is no big deal as I can pay with paypal. The hosting package includes some management tools (cpanel). There is provision to set up ftp accounts (I haven't created any), webmail accounts (with pop access), mail forwarding as well as quite a few other goodies. The guy who runs it (Napoleon) is pretty friendly and has always been ready to help me out with a niggly little question.