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How about building a website – a blog, a forum and a gallery?

2011/11/26
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Thinking about this for quite some time, because since MS closed down its Live Spaces and forced casual bloggers like me to migrate to somewhere like wordpress.com (or 新浪博客 if you or your audience are in China where their Internet is partially interconnected with the rest of the world), which also providing free service, but wordpress.com is just a very limited sub-set of WordPress sphere, which has everything in wordpress.org.  How can I move to the full version of WordPress?

Grab a very old PC in my basement and start to install Windows 2003 on it.  Why not Linux?  LAMP would be the perfect package to build a modern web site.  No, I had tried, no fun at all.  I tried a number of different flavours of Linux in the last ten years, from the classic RedHat to the easiest Ubuntu.  Everytime, Linux just made me give up.  Maybe this will change in the next ten years.  I chose Windows this time, I would use WIMP – Windows, IIS, MySQL and PHP.

If you go to the website wordpress.org, here is the direct way to get necessary information to install WordPress on Windows.

You don’t need to find a web host until you figure out how to install and how to make use of the WordPress platform.  Look for “2, Download & Install WordPress …” and click.  You’re going to a download page – yes and no, it is the right page but you are not download anything here.  Find “handy guide” and click, we’re closer.  In the Install WordPress page, click “Easy 5 Minute WordPress Installation on Windows”.

Very straight forward 5 steps, actually since it is Windows there are only two steps – download and install.  The installation package is from Microsoft – Windows Web App Gallery.  It will guide you through all the steps, even if you don’t have Web PI (Web Platform Installer), or PHP, or MySQL on your server.  All you need to get ready is Windows and IIS.  The document also provided the WAMP alternative in the next section if you prefer Apache than IIS.

I have my WordPress site running just after another few minutes of configuration.

image

Next, I am going to build a forum.  After some research, I found there are a few open source forum code available, like Snitz Forums, Open Source ASP.NET Forum.  The latter seems quite complicated and need MS SQL Server, so I just leave them for now.  For its simplicity, I chose WIMP with MySQL and PHP.  Luckily, there is a open source package – phpBB.  It’s website phpbb.com provides everything you need, here is the document for Install.  Also there is another site made the installation steps much simpler – Build a phpBB Forum in 5 Steps.

This time, it took a bit longer, but still in less than 15 minutes, I have my Forum running.

image Okay, until here, I’ve build a blog and a forum.  Something new to me are PHP and MySQL.

Interestingly, Microsoft has quite adapted to PHP, it even has a sub-site in it’s official IIS site – php.iis.net.  For MySQL, we all know it became a different beast lately, it’s adopted by Oracle when SunMicro was bought last year.  It may not be MySQL or your free SQL some time in the future.  Anyway, I found another useful article about installing PHP and MySQL on IIS.

While I looked around in the php.iis.net site, something interesting caught my attention – a Gallery – Gallery Server Pro.  Why not add a Gallery in my WIMP test lab?  Because it’s also packed by Web PI, the installation is no brainer.  In the next 15 minutes, I uploaded a few pictures and have my Gallery online in my home network.

image That’s pretty much it for this weekend.  I don’t really like the appearance of the Forum and Gallery.  I will need to read a bit more to be able to modify the source code.

By the way, my test environment is a Celeron 566MHz PC with 384MB RAM.

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