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Author Topic: Can a simple blog be inserted into an existing static HTML page  (Read 8558 times)
BillB
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« on: June 15, 2012, 04:35:20 AM »

Hi folks

I have an established (static html) website on which I tried to create some blogs using an inserted CMS system called Snippetmaster.  Although this is fine as an editable snippet system, it isn't really suited for blogging. 

It would be great to be able to insert a blog into my existing web pages, have a little log-in and just be able to write some notes, add pictures.  It should ideally have a "read more..." capability, auto-setting of date, hyperlinks.  I would like to maintain the style of my existing site, so the blog simply replaces an area of body text...  It should also be visible to search bots, which (if I understand correctly) rules out the use of <inline> tags.

I would also like very simple installation - no databases, Wordpress etc.  A flat file system would be ideal.

Can anyone make any recommendations - has this been covered before?  I tried a search here for 'blog' and found Flatpress http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=24115.0
but I am not at all sure whether it can be inserted into an existing website.

Your suggestions would be very welcome.

Bill
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 04:52:18 AM »

Just create a Wordpress or Blogger blog and insert into the HTML page by using the iframe tag would probably be the easiest.

Blogger is very easy to set up and free (on google). No work for you to do other than start tying your articles. Because it is a Google product it is automatically indexed for searching.

Wordpress provide a hosted service and loads of free templates and plugins.

For both you can add articles using Windows Live Writer.

If you want a flat file blog system to do yourself you could try FlatPress (see http://flatpress.org/home/)

Not tried it but it looks the sort of thing you are after.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 05:00:26 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

BillB
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 05:01:38 AM »

Carol

Thanks for the fastest reply ever!  When I said "It should also be visible to search bots, which (if I understand correctly) rules out the use of <inline> tags." I think I should have said "rules out the use of <iframe> tags"...  Isn't that the case, that iframe links will not be followed by searchbots? 

Also, would it be possible to embed only essential part of another blog into a static page (so that no extraneous themes, titles, footers etc show up)?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 08:44:48 AM »

I would have thought FlatPress is customisable so that you can make it look like the rest of your site. Since it only uses text files to store content it should be easy to host and should index from your own website.

The other alternative with WordPress or Blogger is to create a template top match your website (or reasonably closely) and then just add it as a menu link on your website. It will be indexed on the host website but so long as you have back links anyone following the link will be sent back to your website.

Is it vital that the index reflects your domain name? If so it looks like something like FlatPress is what you want.

I have never used it but other people on DC have recommended text only CMS systems. Here are a few I found on a quick search:

http://pivotx.net
http://www.skybluecanvas.com
http://www.pluck-cms.org
http://www.razorcms.co.uk

Pivotx seems to be specifically designed with blogging in mind.
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 08:52:30 AM »

You could always make a link to the "blog" page, then use regular frames in it, or an iframe as Carol said above. They're different, so you'd need to know what you want to decide. You'd then have absolute freedom to use whatever you want for the blog.
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BillB
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 04:54:32 PM »

Thanks for the comments.  You seem to be suggesting that I create a blog elsewhere, or on my site, make it look like my site and then link to it.  That may be what I have to do, although I expect it to be a bit of challenge to create a template that suits the blog software, based on my existing html/css.

What I was hoping for was something offering blogging functionality within static html (like an iframe, but noting the SEO issue above), in the same way that snippetmaster offers cms within static html.  Any further thoughts welcome, otherwise I may come back and plague you with the difficulties of making pivotx look like my site  Wink
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 06:36:03 PM »

The ones I suggested a couple of posts up are all no-database CMSes and the first is good for blogging (apparently) and FlatPress is specifically designed to be like WordPress without the database requirements.

I would suggest you use something like XAMPP (http://www.apachefriends.org) or WAMP (http://www.wampserver.com) to try it offline and see if you like the functionality.

Forget look and feel see if it does what you want.

Once you have done that have a look at the template and you can probably edit the template code to include the HTML code for the page look of your current website. If not I am sure someone here can point you in the right direction. That way you can host the blog on your own site whilst retaining current content.

Can I ask you why you are so determined to avoid a database? Also is you site so large that moving the whole thing to a CMS is out of the question - would be much easier to maintain in the long run.
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BillB
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 07:17:43 PM »

Thanks Carol
Quote
Forget look and feel see if it does what you want.
That's very good advice, which I will follow.

Quote
Can I ask you why you are so determined to avoid a database?
Only that I have had to work with a few of them in order to run specific PHP scripts, and have always found installation troublesome, and usually had to go to my hosting company for help with setup.  Unless a database is a necessity, as with WordPress etc, I'd rather not go there.

Quote
is you site so large that moving the whole thing to a CMS is out of the question
Not SO large, but I rather like HTML and CSS.  My local version is my principal backup, and I can test edits and functionality offline before uploading. The site is at www.2bconsultancy.co.uk.  It uses CSS for the drop-down menu system and highslide.js for the pop-up windows - the thought of getting that transferred to CMS and functioning is a bit scary.

If you have a look at the News/Blog link from the homepage, you will see part of the problem - actually there are 3 blogs but the last update was in 2010!!!  So I need something that can be added to really easily - and hopefully you can see why a solution working within the page would be ideal.

Didn't mean to sound ungrateful about your earlier advice, it is just good to know all possible solutions (or whether one's preferred ideal is a complete non-starter).  Having said that, I'll give your advice a go and just try getting some test blogs running (non-public facing) and see how they work.

Thanks again.
 
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 08:16:34 PM »

The page layout you are using there looks easy to duplicate for a CMS - if you want I could help you with that. My preferred CMS is Joomla - which I have always found dead easy to setup and it allows blog-style pages (if you want people to leave comments then you would need to use a plugin for the comments). OK Joomla uses a MySQL database but I have never had any issues installing it - just upload the ZIP installer, unpack it on the server, create a database and assign permissions (just allow Joomla all permssions) and then go to the website - the installation is then a simple form to fill in with the details. Finally delete the installation folder on the server and you have a website.

The big advantage is that it is really quick and easy to add articles and edit pages.

Not trying to twist your arm but the offer of help is there if you want it. You could even set up the site in a subfolder so it doesn't interfere with your existing website until you are happy with the results.

PM me if you are interested and we can arrange a mutually convenient time to chat online.
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BillB
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 11:11:03 AM »

Carol, thanks for the kind offer.  I have a number of queries/concerns regarding matching the functionality of the existing site: for example highslide.js is used to pop-up JPG slideshows, FLV, Vimeo, html pages including flash panoramas... I have no idea how a CMS would handle this - maybe you do :-)

Anyway, I am working to meet several dealines today (yes, Sunday)/this week.  I found the link to your site from your posting, so I could contact you directly with a list of queries, to see if this looks like a good way forward.

Thanks again.

Bill
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BillB
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 05:31:41 AM »

Hi folks, just thought I would report back, as I managed to answer my own question. I found something called SimpleBlog
http://simpleblogphp.com/index.php

It did require database installation but that was pretty painless (plus the developer, Stoian, offered assistance if required), and the actual PHP installation was very straightforward. 

Stoian was very helpful in modifying the script to provide functions I was looking for, such as categories for blog posts, allowing multiple blogs which show only the posts in the required categories.  He provided this and some other modifications for a very modest fee, as well as responding promptly to other technical questions and requests.

If you want to see what it looks like within my HTML site:
http://www.2bconsultancy.co.uk/blogland.php
I still need to add more posts, and also intend to make the three different blogs more obvious and accessible, rather than using the left-hand navigation, but the blog engine itself is working nicely.  Stoian also produces other scripts to insert functionaility into static pages, eg forum, events, even simple page-based CMS.

SimpleBlog is highly recommend if you want to add a dynamic blog system to a static HTML website, without embarking on a major update to a Content Management System (CMS).

It's ironic that the answer to my question was the title of my question!
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f0dder
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 07:42:08 AM »

Might also have been worth to look at justice's Carbon system - just throwing in the link for completeness' sake smiley
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