This past year has seen some change for bloggers and blogging platforms. As WordPress continues to mature and its adoption as one of the world's most popular web publishing, blogging and portfolio tools is distributed for free, some of its competitors have either been acquired only to be retired. Smaller free online blogging and web publishing tools such as Posterous and Jux have shared the fate of going dark. Twitter, which acquired the cloud-based Posterous platform last year, retooled its web publishing model to compete more directly with Tumblr, but ultimately killed it entirely shutting it down at the end of May 2013. The smaller startup Jux which had been only around for a year or so will be dimming the lights by end of August this summer.
One of the bigger news items around blogging clients and publishing tools in recent months was Yahoo!'s purchased of the popular Tumblr platform for $1.1 billion. Yahoo!, reenergized with a buying streak, struck a deal in a bid to buy Tumblr recently, which, in turn, sent droves of Tumblr users to vacate the platform and transition over to WordPress sending a surge of new user accounts spiking. Meanwhile, former Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone -- who are now with startup incubator The Obvious Corporation -- have started a new blog platform called Medium that possibly offers an alternative to Posterous, Tumblr and WordPress. Launched less than a year ago, Medium has now become its own company and remains in beta and user accounts are queued by-invitation-only.
Quietly in the shadows, newer platforms are starting to take off. One of these is Ghost, a UK-based open-source blogging application that has completed a round of crowd funding via Kickstarter. Set to launch later this summer, Ghost looks to be an exciting blogging tool that will also feature an analytics console. Its user interface promises to allow for focused blog writing.
In the interim, another tool from the UK called Anchor CMS is available for free, and to the delight of some, it is much more agile and lighter-weight than code- and plugin-heavy WordPress. The emphasis is on simpler content presentation, not the number of modules, carousels and galleries to tack on to a site. Anchor CMS is designed for bloggers who would like an uncluttered content editor that concentrates on writing, not a platform offering a distracting number of design choices. Anchor CMS does offer third-party themes, but the design stays with the mission for a clean and minimal appearance. These are also responsive and mobile-friendly across device.
Getting started with Anchor CMS is a bit tricky, however, and helps to have some domain administration and programming skill to set up. This Anchor CMS Installation Walkthrough is designed to help deploy Anchor CMS which is still in a less than 1.0 version.
1 - To get the latest version (currently version 0.9.1), download Anchor CMS as a zip file here: http://anchorcms.com.
2 - Unzip and upload Anchor CMS via your favorite FTP client under the domain public_html root directory.
3 - In the FTP client, set the permissions to Read/Write (777) by right-mouse clicking on the Anchor folder.
4 - Access your site's domain control panel, i.e. cPanel, and determine the version of PHP you have. Check to see if it's version 5.3. If it's not PHP version 5.3, you will need to change a few lines in the.htaccess file. If you're hosting your Anchor CMS blog at HostGator, for instance, you will need to update the PHP version from 5.2 to 5.3 this way. To do that, open the .htaccess file and add the following lines:
# Use PHP 5.3
AddType application/x-httpd-php53 .php
5 - Open a browser pointing to your Anchor CMS and configure the settings and metadata to finalize setting up Anchor CMS. Refer to the following screen captures.
Installin' Anchor CMS:
LANGUAGE AND TIMEZONE
On the first tab (not pictured) labeled Language and Timezone, select your language and timezone for your blog.
Complete all of the fields for setting up your Anchor CMS database: Database Host (localhost or 127.0.0.1.); Port (3306); User Name; Password; Database Name ( e.g., username _ anchordb); Table Prefix ( e.g., anchor _ ); and Collation (e.g., utf8 _ general _ ci ). Note: spaces should be removed before and after the underscore characters when entering the Database Name, Table Prefix and Collation. After completing these fields, click on Next Step button.
Complete these fields to identify your Site Name and Site Description. If you installed Anchor CMS under the site domain root, add a forward slash ("/") in the SIte Path field. If your Anchor CMS is under a down-level folder, you will need to include the path to that folder here.
YOUR FIRST ACCOUNT
Lastly, complete the following fields to finalize Anchor CMS set-up: choose a Username (e.g., admin), an E-mail address and Password. Click on Complete, and that's it.
Voila, you'll be up and running with Anchor CMS!
Looking for an Anchor CMS theme? Find one here at AnchorThemes.com: http://anchorthemes.com.