After considerable tinkering I think this new blog is pretty much where I want it to be. As I’ve mentioned before it’s based on Rick Ellis’s excellent Expression Engine, the successor to his pmachine content management system. I’m very happy with the speed and flexibility of EE. I have been able to grok its backend pretty quickly, and the style templates are very simple to fiddle with. Because it’s dynamic any changes I make to the site propagate immediately, no rebuilding, and that makes it very easy to mess with the design (maybe you’ve noticed the theme of the minute for the last few days?).
Of course the design will change completely once 2Extreme Media finishes its job. I haven’t seen any preliminary art, but Mike and his team are very good and I have a feeling it will be smashing. Having a flexible content management system on this end gives me the confidence I need to finally update my site. It was a much more daunting task when it was flat HTML files maintained by hand in Dreamweaver.
Once I get the new design this “blog” will actually be the Leoville front page.
My only complaint about EE is that it doesn’t support the Blogger API so I can’t use Ecto, my favorite blogging tool, to create new content. Rick says EE is too flexible to be able to accommodate the API. Harrumph. As of now I must either use the web interface (which is pretty good) or email the post. That’s a very nice feature of EE which means I can also move the moblog over here. For the time being I’ll double post everything to both Typepad or Textamerica and here, but update your bookmarks because that won’t last forever.
The last stage will be to integrate the wiki software for the radio show notes into the site – which should be fairly simple since it’s PHP and MySQL based, too. Then my dream of unification for Leoville will be complete. The message boards will still stand alone – there’s no other way to do that – but all my content will be accessible from one, easy to navigate, page. I hope.