by May 7, 2008 0 comments



Building a blogging server can’t be easier than this. All you need is an Open
Source blogging platform, the LifeType, which enables one to build blogging
website in minutes. The software provides easy-to-use interface and easy media
management, ie, automatic thumbnail generation and mass uploading of files, it
also has built-in spam filter, and the option of adding new features even after
installation.

The blogging server can be used as a platform where people can share their
experiences, thoughts, and common problems. This can also be implemented in
educational institutes for students to discuss their issues.

Direct Hit!

Applies To:
IT Managers
Price: Free
USP: Build your own blogging server
Primary Link:
www.lifetype.net
Keywords:
LifeType

Building the blog server
Take a P3-based system with at least 512 MB RAM and Linux, preferablly
Fedora 8, as OS. You also need a web server, ie Apache or MS IIS (for Windows)
and a database server, ie MySQL on the system. Apart from these you need to have
PHP installed for LifeType to work. In this article it is assumed that both
MySQL and PHP are installed on the system.
Installing LifeType is simple. Download the LifeType tar file using the link
provided in the direct hit box and extract the file using the following command:

# tar -zvxf lifetype-1.2.7.tar.gz

A folder gets created within the current working directory. Move the folder
to the web root directory of your web server, ‘/var/www/html/’ and change the
permission of the LifeType configuration file so that the application can write
all your preferences and settings on it. For this navigate to LifeType > config
folder and then execute the following command:

# chmod 777 config.properties.php

A browser-based wizard is provided to install this blogging platform. So open
up the Internet browser and type the following address on the address bar:
‘http://localhost/lifetype/’ or else if you are sitting on a remote machine then
type: ‘http://<ip-address>/lifetype/’ (replace <ip-address> by the IP address of
the blogging server).

Installation process involves few steps: first is the initialization step
which checks that it has proper rights over the directories that are required
during installation, correct version of PHP is installed, MySQL is present or
not and so on, click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed. Now specify which database
server it is going to use. If the database server is running locally then
specify ‘localhost’ else specify the database server’s IP address. Next, give
the username and password that this application should use to log on to the
database. Make sure that the user has been granted full rights of creating,
updating, and deleting tables on the database. Provide the database name, in our
case ‘lifetype’ and the database prefix, and click on the ‘Next’ button to
proceed. The next page shows you all the details that you have provided for the
database, now check the ‘Create database’ check box so that the application can
create a blank database named ‘lifetype’. In the next step within this database
tables are created. Click on ‘Next’ button to proceed. Now you need to create a
user who will be the administrator of this blog. So for this provide the
necessary user details and click on ‘Next’. Give a name to your blog, select
language and template. Finally it is all done, and you are ready to start your
own blog. For security reasons remove the write permission that was earlier
given to ‘config.properties.php’ file. For this, issue the following command:

# chmod 775 config.properties.php

Before installing LifeType on
your system, make sure the system requirements, as shown, are met
After the installation is
complete make sure wizard.php file is removed to continue with your blog and
also remove summary.php to avoid Internet to create new blogs

Also remove ‘wizard.php’ to continue with your blog, because this file is
only required for installation and not further.

Adding new blog
For new blog entry open the administrator login page. In the default
template link to ‘admin login,’ page can be found on the right-hand side. For
login, enter username, password, and click on the ‘login’ button. Click on the
blog name, in our case ‘PCQuest Blogging Server!’, for posting a new blog. New
post page comes up, in the ‘Topic’ field type the title of the blog and in the
‘Text’ area type the content that you would like to post on the blog. It
facilitates you with lot of text formatting tools and icons to make your content
attractive. After you have provided all the necessary things click on the ‘Blog
this!’ button.

LifeType also provides RSS feeds through
which the subscribers of the blogs can know about the updates

New looks
You can also upload new template to your blog server. These templates can be
downloaded  from ‘http://wiki.lifetype.net/index.php/Templates’. Create a
directory inside the ‘template’ directory of the lifetype folder and name
‘blog_1’. Then place the template folder which you have downloaded from the link
mentioned above inside the blog_1 folder. Now open the admin page, navigate to
‘Control Centre’ section click on ‘New Blog Template’ found under the ‘Blog
Templates’ option. Now click on the ‘Scan Templates’ button and it automatically
installs the new template. For applying the newly installed template navigate to
the ‘administration’ page and click on the ‘Blogs’ option found under the
‘Manage Blogs’ section. Select the blog on which you want to apply the template.
Search for the ‘Template’ option and then select the newly installed template
from the drop down list box or you can click on the ‘Select’ link provided
beside the drop down list box. The ‘Select’ link provides you the graphical view
of all the installed templates.

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