<p>In this installment of the
LnBlog walk-through, we'll be taking a look at the administration page
and creating a new weblog. This will get you to the point of
having a working, if empty, weblog.</p>
<h4>Administration Page</h4>
<p>When you access the main LnBlog URL again after your initial setup,
you will be asked to log in and then taken to the administration
page. <a href="adminpage.png"><img style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 169px;" alt="LnBlog administration page" src="adminpage_tn.png" /></a> This is where you will create new users, new blogs, and perform upgrade and administration functions.</p>
<p>Let's briefly go through the links you'll find on this page. In the "Add Features" section, the "configure
site-wide plugins" link allows you to control the default plugin
settings for your blogs. Plugins can be set up on a per-blog
basis, so if you don't specifically change the plugin settings for a
certain blog, the ones set here will be in effect. I'll cover plugin configuration
in detail in a future installment.
</p>
<p>The next link, "configure enabled plugins and load order" allows you
to disable installed plugins and to change the order in which they are
loaded. The defaults will probably be fine for a new
installation, but if you want to, for example, put the blog sidebar
panels in a different order, the easiest way to do it is by chaning the
plugin load order. As with the plugin settings, loaded plugins
are configurable on a per-blog basis.</p>
<p>The "edit system.ini file" and
"edit group.ini file" links will simply let you edit the indicated
files in a text area. Currently (as of version 0.8.0), the
only reason to edit group.ini is to make other users
administrators. The system.ini file, on the other hand, does have
a few setting that you might be interested in. I'll save that for
another day, though. Right now, we're still on the basics.
</p>
<p>The "modify site-wide menubar"
link is used to add custom links to the site map bar under the page
banner. Note that this is also configurable on a per-blog
basis, so use this link to create the default site map. Note
that the site map is controled by the SiteMap plugin, which has
several configuration options. If you do not change the
settings, then the default behavior is to dynamically add a link in
the sitemap to each blog you create, so you really only need this to
add links to sections not managed by LnBlog.</p>
<p>The "add new user" link should
be pretty self-explanatory. It just lets you create new
users, just like you did in the last installment. The only
difference is that any new users you create will <strong>not</strong> be administrators.</p>
<h4>Creating Blogs</h4>
<p>That brings us to the "add new blog" link. If you click that, you will be taken to the
new blog screen. <a href="newblog.png"><img style="width: 301px; height: 232px; float: left;" alt="New blog screen" src="newblog_tn.png" /></a>
Here you will enter the options for your first blog.</p>
<p>The first piece of information you need is the blog path. This
is the root-relative URL of the blog and the path to the folder it will
be created in. For example, if you give "myblog" as the blog
path, then LnBlog will store this blog in a folder called "myblog"
under the document root on your web server. The resulting URL of your blog would be <code>http://yourhost.com/myblog/</code>. Note that you can
specify paths in this box as well, provided the beginning components of
the path already exist. For example, you could give <code>blogs/tech/linux</code> as the path, so long as you already have a <code>/blogs/tech/</code> on your server.<br />
</p>
<p>The blog owner is the username of whoever "owns" this blog.
The blog owner is considered the administrator of this blog and can
change any of the blog's settings. Note that site administrators, like your first
user account, can also change any settings on any blog.</p>
<p>The "additional allowed writers" box lets you list specify a list of
other usernames who can post new entries to this blog. You should
separate the usernames by commas with no spaces. Note that these
users will not be able to change any blog settings (unless they are also
administrators).</p>
<p>The blog name and description boxes are pretty obvious - they're the name and
description for your blog. These will be displayed in the page banner, the RSS feeds, and
various other places. Note that the PageHeader plugin defaults to only show the blog name.
There is an option to show the description as well.</p>
<p>The theme drop-down box allows you to select a theme for your
blog. A theme is a set of templates, style sheets, images, and scripts that
determine what your pages look like. Note that it is possible to
customize your pages on a per-blog basis or to simply create your own
theme, which can be either entirely original, or simply modifications to a few selected
files. The themes use XHTML and CSS with a some inline
PHP code to insert variables into templates and control display. Theming is a somewhat
complicated topic, which I will, yet again, save for another day.</p>
<p>The "maximum number of entries"
box determines how many blog entries to show on the front page of the
blog. Likewise, the "maximum number of entries in RSS feeds"
determines how many entries to show at once in the RSS feeds.</p>
<p>The "send Pingbacks when
posting entries" box is used to enable or disable sending Pingback
pings to pages your entries link to. By default, Pingback
pings will be sent whether your entries accept Pingbacks pings or
not. You can disable sending pings when you post your entry, but this sets the default.</p>
<p>The "allow enclosure for entries" box simply turns on and off the
text box for entering an enclosure URL for blog entries.
Enclosures are the feature of RSS by which podcasting is made
possible. If you don't do any podcasting, then you can uncheck
this box to remove the extraneous box from the post editor. If the extra text box
doesn't bother you, can can safely ignore this option.
</p>
<p>Lastly, the "default markup for entries and articles" box allows you
to pick the default mode for writing your entries. You can
override this on a per entry basis. The available choices are
auto-markup (which is plain text with URLs made clickable), LBCode
(which is a variant of BBCode), and raw HTML (no auto-generated code -
not even line breaks). The default for new blogs is LBCode, as it
is the easiest use, especially if you're familiar with web forums. You can read the <a href="http://www.skepticats.com/lnblog/documentation/files/docs/lbcode-txt.html">LBCode documentation</a> for the full list of supported tags.</p>
<p>When you have filled in all these boxes, click the submit button to
create your blog. Note that the path and owner are the only
fields that cannot be changed after you create the blog.
(Well, technically they <em>can</em> be changed, there's just no graphical
interface for it - you have to do it the old-fashioned way, with a text
editor and an FTP client.)</p>
<p>You should now be looking at a nice blog page with no entries on
it. Next time, we'll briefly go over the how LnBlog handles user security
and then we'll move on to filling in that empty blog.
</p>

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