LifeType-The Blogging Server

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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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