If you're looking for something that doesn't require a lot of skill on computers, Wikyblog is not for you. However, if you're looking for a content management system (CMS) that is infinitely customizable, small, and has great customer support, then perhaps Wikyblog is what you're looking for!

Wikyblog is a free CMS developed in PHP by Josh Schmidt and available on the Wikyblog site, at Sourceforge, at Freshmeat, and at Opensource. The difference between Wikyblog and Wordpress is that Wikyblog, as the name suggests, is a combination of blog and a wiki, like the famous Wikipedia. Wikis have a sophisticated internal linking system that is perfect for sites or blogs covering a topic exhaustively; so while it may be a great idea to use it for a blog about medicine, or history, or politics, or any kind of technical field, it's probably not the best thing to use for telling people about the cute things your cat did today.


The blog feature of Wikyblog works very well and it is pretty straightforward if you have ever contributed or edited an article on Wikipedia. There are some differences from regular blogs in the way links are referenced and in formatting. Wikyblog also offers keyword nesting, which is perfect for very involved topics. So you can have a keyword of "Health and Wellness", and under that, a keyword for "Stress." Then when your visitor hovers over "Health and Wellness" the tag will expand, and you will see the "Stress" keyword in a drop-down list underneath it.

You have the option of blogging a page (like a Wordpress "post") or not (like a Wordpress "page"). The difference is that it will go to the RSS feed if you designate it as a blog, and it will not if you don't. So it's fairly simple to decide whether you want pages to be on the feed or not, and you can always change the option.


Ever wondered why Wikipedia always shows up so high on the results when you search for something? It's because of the exhaustive internal linking that wikis allow. With Wikyblog, it's easy to search for all pages that have a single term or phrase, and link them all to another page. So if you have a site about politics, you could find every instance of the word "Constitution" and link them all to a copy of the Constitution. Because of the way Google and other search engines calculate site importance, a CMS with many internal links ranks much higher in search engines. The wiki feature of Wikyblog is extremely important for sites that need a lot of internal links, particularly sites with a lot of information on one broad topic.


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Should you use a wiki? It's a fairly complex platform, and requires a bit of understanding of markup languages, but it might be worth the effort if you have the content that requires it.


Customization is done in CSS, so if you're not familiar with using it, and you want to try Wikyblog, the best way is to find a Wikyblog site you like, and copy their CSS and play with it. Above you will see two screenshots; the default Wikyblog template, and my modified template, just to show you how much you can change up the look and feel! With the help of a good CSS book you can customize the look and feel of your site to your exact preferences. With the CSS, you can add widgets in your navigation sidebars, or on your blog. There's very little that you can't do, in fact, if you want to (at least figuratively) get your hands dirty!

I have been using Wikyblog for about a year and a half, and I'm just now getting into some of the features. Development is ongoing, so there are always new things to try--and you can try your hand at developing some things yourself and, if you like, put them out there for everyone to use. I don't have any connection with the Wikyblog software or the developer; I'm just a highly enthusiastic user!


Original Look of My Site

The Wikyblog Home Page

Customized Version

Screenshot of my blog

Technical Features

One of the best things about Wikyblog is that every page generates 100% valid HTML, and therefore a site created with Wikyblog will work in any browser on the planet. Valid HTML also helps your search engine rankings, and gets your pages indexed faster. In addition, because users don't have to install a separate browser, they can reassured they are not going to have computer problems because of your site. The other benefit is that your pages load lightning fast because the user's browser doesn't have to try to cope with things it wasn't meant to handle. This fast loading time will increase your Google SERP and PageRank results.


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If you want site customization, CSS is the tool you need to master. While there's plenty of information out there on the internet, this manual makes a lot of things much clearer; the web sites on CSS are written by experts, and experts may overlook a thing or two that beginners need to know and don't get in the explanations.

Got Hacked?

I've been seeing a lot of websites that have been hacked recently, and their owners, justifiably, are in a panic. When mine got hacked, it took me only seconds to restore it with the Wikyblog content management system; the software maintains a page called "Changelog" which shows a detailed history of each page--what page was changed, when, and by whom. Restoring a page takes two clicks and you have the desired version of the page back, exactly as it was. To me, this alone was worth the price of learning to use the Wikyblog content management system; and it is absolutely vital to have this feature on your website if you have more than one person managing content.

Try it out!

The official Wikyblog site offers a free guest account with 1 gB of space, and after a small learning curve, you can have your site up and running. As you become more familiar with the software, and want to do more sophisticated things, it is best to have your own installation, since for security many features on the official site are turned off. Making your own installation is very simple and can be accomplished in a few minutes, even on a free server, and the software is only 2mB to run everything, so it's very conservative with your server space. 

If you consider yourself to have fairly advanced computer skills, and you need a complex CMS, I encourage you to give Wikyblog a try. Don't use it for a site you need up and running by tomorrow, but if you love tinkering with the nuts and bolts, this is definitely a CMS system to check out!