POTM for March: WordPress

The general idea of the Project of the Month is to donate some money to an open source project and write a blog post about it. Everyone knows about the major open source projects, such as the Linux kernel or Firefox, but there are plenty of examples of open source projects that impact you in some way that might not appear on most people’s radars.

This month I donated some money to WordPress, an easy to use and quite popular blogging tool.

Yes, it is quite popular, supposedly “the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world”, but I figured that it was still not a household name and so was a valid project for the POTM.

My blog uses WordPress, and I have been pleased with how easy it is to use, update, and modify. While the default theme was pretty ugly when I started my blog in 2005, there were plenty of themes created by the WordPress community, which is great because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time creating my own theme.

There are a number of plugins for WordPress, and some of them are very useful. From blocking spam to adding special links easily on your blog, there are plugins for any number of purposes.

Relatively recently, WordPress.com was launched, which allows you to run a blog without needing to maintain your own host. While installation is incredibly easy, you may not want the hassle of maintaining your own website’s security just to run a blog. If you already have a blog using another system, WordPress has plenty of import options. You can import LiveJournal and TypePad, or even use an RSS feed as the source, among other options.

The community is great. I had to figure out how to get an RSS feed to Larry for just the POTM entries, and the IRC channel was a great source of friendly assistance. I don’t know if I have ever felt lost using WordPress since there is almost always someone around to explain something to me.

Thank you, WordPress community!

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