Felix Rambles

Another step to taking back control

Blogging with Bludit

23 December 2018 — Felix Ple┼čoianu

You know that feeling when you start playing with a piece of software on a whim, and the next thing you know hours have passed, yet you're still not done? That's what happened to me with Bludit this morning.

I was shopping around for photoblogging software (long story), and because there's a bewildering amount of content management systems out there, narrowed it down to apps that don't require a database server. That left no more than a handful of search results to check out. One of them looked good enough to test.

Screenshot of a blog homepage in white, gray and red, with cursive fonts.

Here's what happened next. Proper review after the cut.

First impressions: Bludit is not only in active development, but thoroughly modern, taking advantage of browser features from this decade (and server features too, it seems). It's around 3.5 megabytes in size, and very easy to install if you know what FTP and file permissions are. The package includes over 20 plugins, making up most of the size, but only two themes. You can get more from the official website; they seem to be mobile-oriented as a general rule. Beware that some of them don't support featured images, while others require them, and not all handle large sizes well. The screenshot above features Blekathlon (be sure to look at everything made by the same authors). Image handling is simplistic, but sufficient, and you can write with a rich text editor, or set up more geeky options. All typical features are supported: posts, pages, tags, categories, menus. You can add more users, too. Only comments are left to third parties.

As a quirk, uploaded images are tied to one post or page and can't be used in another. There's no indication of which file types are supported, or what the max upload size is. On the plus side, you can always delete and re-upload the featured image of a post, knowing it won't mess up the rest.

There seems to be a bug as well: the RSS feed is broken when running from the web server built into PHP. Haven't tried on a production server yet, and it works in the demo, so.

In the way of security, login attempts are rate-limited, and you can change the link to the admin area. The UI won't let you rename the admin user, but you can do that too by editing the file bl-content/databases/users.php. At that point Bludit starts complaining, though nothing seems amiss. You decide how to weigh paranoia against possible breakage. (Or ask the developers, I didn't get around to it yet.)

Speaking of which, there's a very active forum, the developers are present, and if you want to make your own theme or something it's both simple and well-documented.

Can't tell you much more at this time, and I don't exactly have a use for Bludit yet. The first impression is excellent though. Definitely an app to keep in mind.

Tags: blog, software, review

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