BlogEngine.NET is one of the newest blog engines based on ASP.NET to surface recently on the Internet and Applied Innovations is fully BlogEngine.NET Hosting ready. Some of the commonly supported blogging engines for ASP.NET are: dasBlog, CommunityServer, subText, and now BlogEngine.NET.
The goal of the BlogEngine.NET developers was to release an opensource .NET blogging platform with less complexity, easy customization and using today’s modern .NET technologies. By coupling AppliedI.net’s easy to use ASP.NET hosting with BlogEngine.NET’s plug and play setup you’ll have an easy to use, professional blogging platform that you can deploy in under 5 minutes! BlogEngine.NET webhosting couldn’t be easier.
The BlogEngine.NET features for the Web 2.0 Blogosphere
BlogEngine.NET, although a fairly new project, is currently at release 1.1 with a 1.2 version planned to be released in September. You can visit their roadmap on the dotnetbloggingengine.com website.
Even at just version 1.1 BlogEngine.NET is already a very powerful and feature-rich blogging engine and supports many of the features that bloggers around the world demand. These are some of our favorite features in BlogEngine:
- ASP.NET 2.0 – Today, many applications are still based on ASP.NET 1.1, although ASP.NET has been out for a couple years and the next generation of ASP.NET is just around the corner with the release of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. BlogEngine makes use of all that ASP.NET 2.0 has to offer and then some.
- ASP.NET AJAX! – Let’s face it, AJAX is just outright cool! BlogEngine leverages AJAX to make for a very polished user experience.
- NO DB REQUIRED! – That’s right BlogEngine.NET has it’s own XML data provider and stores all it’s information in XML files. They do provide a SQL2005 database provider though should you prefer to use SQL2005 instead of XML.
- Those Fun WEB 2.0 blogging gadgets – Gravatars, tag clouds, google sitemaps, OpenSearch, cool AJAX widgets like the post calendar and blogroll. All the little extra flare that makes your blog, your blog.
- Syndication, Track backs and ping backs – These things we take for granted but without them, it’s just not a blog.
I know it seems like a short list but for a better idea of what’s available visit the BlogEngine.NET features page.
Let’s take a more in depth look at some of the other BlogEngine features.
I feel pretty, oh so Pretty… Yes Themes
Let’s face it, a blog is just a another website until it’s got a good look. One of the most fun things about blogs is the great looks and artistic flare they show off. A blog doesn’t have to look like the rest of the site (unless you want it to). Here’s a few of the themes available today with BlogEngine.NET that we like and we’re sure as more developers start working with BlogEngine.NET we’ll see even more themes developing.
This is just 3 of the themes available and they’re all CSS based and XHTML compliant so you can go in and change theme to match your own taste. To view the other themes available you can visit the BlogEngine.NET Themes page.
HUH? What You Say? I see your lips moving but I don’t understand…
Well not with BlogEngine.NET. The Blogosphere is very much a global community and as such we need global blogging tools. BlogEngine.NET offers full multi-language support. Including a language auto-detect features. Here’s a few screen captures showing off some of the languages:
Control to rule the blogosphere!!! BWHAHAHAA
BlogEngine.NET provides you plenty of control over all the aspects of your blog. Here’s a few of the settings we feel that make controlling your blog easier thanks to BlogEngine.NET:
Control over Advanced settings
In the advanced settings you can enable HTTP compression from within the application (although this is enabled by default on all shared hosting servers). You can also increase overall site download speed by cleaning up the CSS and removing all the whitespace at runtime.
OpenSearch is a very cool feature, today Mozilla and IE have a search bar in the top right corner of your browser, with OpenSearch you can plug-in your site’s search with the client’s browser search bar making your blog sticky to the client.
With the comment features you can enable or disable comments blog-wide, enable coComments, automatically have comments close after X days on older posts and enable or disable the comments live preview (AJAX) feature.
Easy Tracking Script Integration Control
BlogEngine.NET makes it easy to add your tracking script code (google analytics, clicktracks, etc) with just copy and paste ease right in the control panel. No need to open HTML or ASPX pages and edit code.
WYSIWYG Editor Ready Control
Today, it’s all about the WYSIWYG, if you can’t edit in WYSIWYG editor, you’re just not going to use the application. BlogEngine not only supports it’s own built in WYSIWYG editor but also has full support for our favorite blog editing application, Windows Live Writer.
Full Tags & Comment Control
These are not only good for search engine optimization but they make your blog easy to navigate and provide valuable information to your users. Today, it’s Web 2.0 to include a tagcloud in your blog. Since our demo blog doesn’t have a fancy tagcloud (because it’s only got a couple demo posts) we wanted to show a blogengine.net.net site with a pretty nice tagcloud so we’re linking to Mads Kristensen’s blog. Mads is a Lead Developer at Traceworks and coordinator on the BlogEngine.NET project. Visit Mads’s Tag Cloud.
Installing BlogEngine.NET in your AppliedI.net Hosted website
So we said BlogEngine.NET is plug and play, well it is. . . (almost!). To install BlogEngine.NET at AppliedI.net all you have to do is these simple 4 steps:
- Download the latest web project files from the BlogEngine.NET CodePlex site or click here and then extract these files to a folder on your local computer.
- Edit the web.config file removing the highlighted line below at about line #27 that reads: “<trust level=”High” />” (just delete that whole line):
Then save the web.config and upload all the files to the server in a subfolder (we recommend naming the folder blog) including your updated web.config!
- Change this folder to a web application. This can be done in the control panel by following this tutorial or you can email support and request they do it for you.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and request they set file permissions on the folder: App_Data for BlogEngine.NET for you. They’re familiar with the application so they’ll know immediately what to do.
That’s it’s 4 steps and you’re ready to access your new BlogEngine.NET based blog and begin blogging. Well, almost (yes there was an almost in there) Here’s the gotcha:
WARNING: BlogEngine.NET is an ASP.NET 2.0 application and if your site is running an ASP.NET 1.1 application today then you can either run ASP.NET 2.0 or ASP.NET 1.1 on your site at one time. You can not run both ASP.NET 1.1 and ASP.NET 2.0 on the same site at the same time in shared hosting. You’ll need to setup a separate website for blogengine.net or convert your existing applications to ASP.NET 2.0.
It’s a small gotcha since most sites today are running web applications based in ASP.NET 2.0 but it’s a gotcha if you’re going to be combining blogengine.net with your existing website running an advanced asp.net web application. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to contact your webdeveloper or the appliedi.net hosting support and have them take a look for you.
Thanks for visiting and a few parting gifts for the ride home.
As you can hopefully see, BlogEngine.NET has alot to offer to bloggers running on ASP.NET 2.0 ready webhosting servers (phew that’s a mouthful). We’re excited about BlogEngine.NET and what it’s going to offer bloggers across the globe and we’re happy to offer full hosting support for BlogEngine.NET. You can learn more about that at our BlogEngine.NET Hosting page.
We’re also offering a special hosting promotion right now that’s perfect to start your new blogging website, it includes a Free Domain Name, 3 months of FREE Windows Hosting, a FREE SQL2005 database (so you’ll have the option to use SQL2005 or the XML data providers) and full support for today’s technologies like Silverlight, ASP.NET AJAX, XAML, .NET Framework 3.0 and ofcourse like all of our ASP.NET shared hosting, Windows Dedicated Hosting and Windows 2003 VPS Servers, it’s fully BlogEngine.NET support. To learn more about it on our special ASP.NET Hosting