Blog Software Features

What are the must-haves for your blogging software?

Flexible Design - Ever notice that all Blogger blogs pretty much look the same? Having the ability to make yours look different is always a plus.  Joomla has a multitude of templates available to change the look and feel of your blog, while keeping the same structure (don't wanna confuse your users with something too crazy!)

Online Editing/Posting - A good blog service allows you to type your post online and click a button to have your post appear.  Ideally, you want to have text formatting and spell checking available just like you would in Word or Open Office. In Joomla, you can write your post, then schedule it to publish at a later date.

Categories/Tags/Search - To make your information easier to find, it is best to arrange your posts by topic/category.  If you can add tags, that will help users find your information using key words in a search. All of these features are available in Joomla 2.5 straight out of the box.

Archiving - If your blog is not restricted to timely news, you'll certainly have some older articles that you want your readers to find.  When you create new entries, the old ones should be archived automatically.  I don't mean that they should be removed and filed away somewhere when I refer to 'archiving'.  I mean no longer featured, but still easily accessible. This is no problem for Joomla.

Search Engine Friendly - Since Google, MSN, Yahoo care not only about the words in your blog, they also care about the URL that refers to your page (up in the address bar), you want your articles to have meaningful names. So instead of your post being, it is much better for it to be  Thankfully, this is automatically part of Joomla 2.5, you don't need to do anything but give your article a specific title with some solid key words.

Comments - One of the most common features of a blog is the ability for readers to leave comments/ask questions at the end of each post.  Many folks choose to turn this feature off so that they don't get spam or unwanted negative remarks.  Oddly, Joomla does not offer this out-of-the-box.  However, it is very easy to integrate this on a Joomla site by adding a FaceBook comment area (or similar).

Social Media Integration - This goes along the lines of the Comments area.  If you make a post, you want people to know. You want your readers to participate in your blog and you want them to tell their friends and refer others to your site. This can be accomplished with share buttons, likes, email buttons, etc.  With Joomla plug-ins, you can even automatically alert folks of new posts by integrating your social media accounts. They will automatically update your status to point to the new blog post.

Syndication - If you use an RSS reader, it's good to know that Joomla automatically allows you to push your blog posting to RSS readers. This sydication also allows you to pick up other folks' posting and headlines as well.  It is easy for your post to appear on other peoples' pages to get more readership. In Joomla there isn't really anything to configure for this syndication, just a button the user can click to subscribe to your blog.

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