Setting up the blog

April 6, 2013 at 12:09 PMMichele Mottini

Besides writing the blog I'd like to play a bit with the platform itself, so I wanted blogging software I can work with and not just a shrink-wrapped hosted solution.

I am a .NET/C#/Windows developer, so I looked for .NET-based stuff.

At first I tried FunnelWeb: it is a modern .NET MVC application, geared for programmers (uses Markdown for the posts for example).  It is quite basic in terms of features, requires a SQL database and the community / support does not seem very active, so I dropped it.

I switched to BlogEngine.Net: it is not MVC, but it is a more mature and full-featured product, with a bigger and more active community. As a further plus (for me) it does not require a SQL database.

BlogEngine.NET is the brainchild of Mads Kristensen, the author of the - essential - Web Essentials Visual Studio add-in.

Selected the software, I needed a hosting service. Some initial searches led me to this gallery of hosting services supporting .NET; after some further not-very-scientific searches there I settled to SmarterAsp.NET. The amount of choice is quite overwhelming: I was not expecting so many different hosting services.

So far I am happy with SmarterAsp: they offer a 60 day trial, the setup was easy and the dashboard used  to manage your sites is pretty nice. It might be a tad slow, I am not sure yet.

SmarterAsp offers a number of pre-configured application that can be installed automatically - including BlogEngine.NET, but for some reason their installation script configures it to use a SQL database instead than the file system. That seems overkill for my needs, so I ended up doing a manual installation, that in any case is very easy.

Last step: select a domain name. michelemottini.com seemed too long, I frequently use 'mimo' as my handle, but mimo.com is already taken, so I went for mimosite.com. I bough it directly via SmarterAsp, and I was good to go almost immediately.

 

Posted in: Blogging

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