Sheila Ann Manuel Coggins at About.com Weblogs wrote a very useful article for prospective bloggers on 21 Important Blogware Features to look for when choosing a blog software. She has since published a Blog Feature Checklist for WordPress and Vox, so I thought I would spend some time tonight checking out how our BlogHarbor service stacks up against her list…
Here’s the Blog Feature Checklist for BlogHarbor:
|WYSIWYG / HTML Editor||Yes|
|Built-in Search Engine||Yes|
|Image Gallery Support||Yes|
|Podcasting / Video Blogging Support||Yes|
Noteworthy additional features include: sticky posts, spell check, post to the future, email submission forms, optional email hosting, multilingual support (language preference can be chosen for control panel and blog, English, Spanish and French currently available), keywords, file system.
BlogHarbor’s Basic Score: 18/21
Bonus Points (based on additional features): ???
BlogHarbor’s Total Score: ???
Here’s a breakdown of those features and some links to related information:
- Comments – Yes, commenting is available. Publishers can choose whether to allow comments on a per article basis, to allow anonymous commenting, and can enable various levels of comment moderation.
- WYSIWYG/HTML Editor – Yes. Our rich text editor can also be disabled if the publisher prefers entering HTML code directly or prefers a browser-side plugin such as Xinha Here! for WYSIWYG HTML editing.
- Permalinks – Yes of course, all articles are permanently available at a Permanent Link. While our service does not generate permalink URLs contain the title of an article, the permalink URLs do not contain query strings.
- Categories – Yes, BlogHarbor has extensive support for categories. Publishers can choose to restrict access to certain categories, allow other authors to post to particular categories, and choose to allow content to bubble up from a child category to a parent category.
- Email-to-Blog – Yes, Email-to-Blog posting, which we refer to as Email Shortcuts, is supported. Publishers can create multiple Email Shortcuts not only to post articles to specific categories by email, but also to post photos to a photo album by email.
- Archives – Yes, all posts are archived automatically, posts are never deleted from the database except by the publisher’s choice. Publishers can use default components like a calendar or monthly or yearly archives to help users navigate to archived content.
- RSS/Atom – Yes, we provide extensive support for RSS Syndication. Choose from RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, Atom 0.3, or Atom 1.0. In addition to the main RSS feed, all categories generate their own RSS feed, and restricted categories generate secure RSS feeds which require authentication to view the private content.
- Built-in Search Engine – Yes. All articles are saved in a database and are instantly searchable via our builtin search engine module.
- Customizable Templates – Yes. Almost all of the elements of a blog can be customized using a series of templates. Publishers can easily alter the presentation via custom CSS in the style template or alter the structure of the page layout. Of course, templates can be customized globally or on a per category basis…
- Polls – No. While we do not have a built-in solution for blog polling, we created a service called Blogpolling.com which provides easily integrated polls compatible with BlogHarbor or any other blog host.
- Blogrolls – Yes, we refer to blogrolls as Favorites lists and also provide RSS Headline lists which allow publishers to easily add headlines to other blogs and news sources to their blog pages.
- Notifications – Yes, we do provide comment and trackback notifications via email.
- Spam Control – Yes. We have devoted a significant amount of resources on systems to protect against spam. A filter automatically drops incoming trackback spams before they even reach a blog and flags remaining trackbacks which are suspected as possible spam, allowing a publisher to choose to moderate all trackbacks or only those flagged as possible spam. We also provide for comment moderation and a CAPTCHA system to protect against automated comment spam. When our publishers choose to delete and block a comment or trackback, we examine those in the aggregate and put in global blocks based on this data.
- Multiple Blogs – No. While we do offer the capability to manage multiple blogs using a single username as well as the option to use a custom domain name for your blog, we do not provide the capability to map multiple hostnames (domain names) to separate categories of a single blog which is what some blog hosting providers typically are referring to when they say they provide support for “multiple blogs.” However, all of our blog hosting plans do allow for:
- Built-in Statistics – Yes, not only do we provide daily web stats on hits, hosts, referers, browsers, etc., we also provide full server log files for publishers to run their own analysis on.
- Profile Page – Yes. A built-in profile page allows for a publisher to share a photo and additional information, and can choose to make that information public or accessible only to certain users or groups of users. Or a publisher can use our Web Pages feature to create custom pages which match the look and feel of the blog but are not linked in as articles, perfect for About pages.
- Bookmarklets – Yes. Use bookmarklets to post to your blog or add a page you’re browsing to a Favorites list.
- Image Gallery Support – Yes, we provide support for Photo Albums and even our smallest plan allows for 1 GB disk space for images and other files.
- Podcasting / Video Blogging Support – Yes. Attach audio or video files to an article and they will automatically be included as “enclosures” in an RSS feed, which allows “podcatching” software and services to automatically download your latest podcasts.
- Privacy Function – Yes. Restrict access to your blog or to specific categories of your blog to users and groups.
- Extendibility – Limited. While it is possible to add any type of custom component to your sidebar, alter a blogs’ template, and use our templating language to generate content dynamically, we do not allow server side scripting so it is not possible to use the Perl or PHP languages for example. This simply means it will not be possible to write your own software which changes how our service works, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to customize your blog.
How does your blog host rate on the Blog Feature Checklist?