Blogging with Django
Entry updated Feb. 13, 2008 at 12:56 p.m.
This morning I implemented the switch from Movable Type to a custom-built Django application for patrickbeeson.com.
There are a number of links I need to redirect; if you find one, just send me an e-mail using the contact form and I'll get it corrected. Also, there are a number of old entries that I chose not to port over because they were no longer relevant or contained little information useful to anyone but myself. I'll provide a link on the archives page to the full export from Movable Type for those that want to sift through those entries.
Please update your feeds to the following URL: http://patrickbeeson.com/feeds/blog/
Also, this site is cached for about 10 minutes which makes for super quick loading but not so quick updating. If you post a comment (and it's not spam) it will be posted in a reasonable amount of time.
Speaking of comments, I chose not to port over comments from my old site because of the complexity in mapping the IDs to the appropriate entry. I might bring over some of the more relevant ones if I can.
Building this site in Django was a great way to learn how the framework works in terms of publishing content. And since Django was born from the loins of the newspaper industry it makes sense to use it for this purpose.
I had already experimented with building sites in Django a few months ago, but never got very far due to my skittishness with databases. I'm now more comfortable going through MySQL -- at least using the GUI -- and few confident in the data that I'm managing.
Though I am familiar with Django's templating language, especially since diagnosing template issues is part of my job as project manager at Scripps, there were a number of instances were I could do something easily in Movable Type, but not inherently in Django. Things like displaying all of the tags or months on the homepage required writing custom template tags that interfaced with the models.
Also, modifying existing templates to solve an issue is one thing, but building an entire site is another. I stumbled a number of times in the process.
Though I've said it before, Django is probably not the best thing to use for blogging. There are many great off-the-shelf applications that do blogging, and do it well. Rebuilding those apps in Django would be a task.
But if you want to learn the framework for either your job or your own personal satisfaction, building a basic blog and other simple publishing applications is a great way to learn.
Here are some other resources I'd recommend:
- The Django Book
- Django documentation
- Django Users Google Group
- Django Snippets
- Django Basic Apps Code
- Source code for Djangoproject
And if you're wondering about the color change from pink to green, well, it's partly inspired by the Django green, but also I found these colors on a wine bottle in a Knoxville, TN shop and thought they looked nice.