… and back to BlogCFC

While I work on giving this blog back the look of the rest of my site, let me explain why I decided to switch back to the BlogCFC software and give up on BlogFusion.

First, both blogging apps are built with ColdFusion and that is an important reason I chose both of them at different times. When i started this blog I was using BlogCFC from Ray Camden. At that time it was a very nice blog app and it was free but its functionality was a bit limited. Administering it was also not so easy because there was no graphical interface to do so. Although my blogging needs were pretty simple I decided to try something else.

I then came across BlogFusion and although it was not free, its developer had special very low pricing for non-commercial blogs. It was extremely sophisticated compared to BlogCFC at the time and had a very extensive admin interface so I decided to switch.

As I started the task of adapting the default look of BlogFusion to my site I quickly realized that the developer had taken a very diffeent approach to programming it than Ray had for BlogCF. It took me a long time to grasp how the countless files that affected the blog’s look worked together and modify them to my needs. It was a real chore and I almost went right back to BlogCFC. I really liked the new functionality BlogFusion was giving me though. so I forged ahead and eventually got the customization done.

BlogFusion has then been picked up by new developers and the new version has been in beta for what seems like forever. The beta versions have looked at did not seem to have much improved the underlying mess of disorganized code that was behing BlogFusion 4.x and the app started giving me trouble. In recent weeks, my hosting provider communicated with me many times to point out several errors that were occuring within the BlogFusion app. Between database connections timeouts to other errors that were impossible for me to pinpoint or fix, the host support people felt that my blog was compromising the stability of the server my Web site is hosted on so I had no choice but to do something.

Now to be fair to BlogFusion, it is entirely possible that I messed up something in it myself as I applied the various updates from 4.0.1 to 4.0.8. I had to rely on a file compare utility (Winmerge) to apply the updates as I had heavily modified several key files to get BlogFusion to look and behave like my site. As is the case with many back end developers, the BlogFusion front end HTML/CSS code was not very standards compliant or semantic and relied on very outdated markup and formatting techniques. I’m not a standards purist by any stretch of the imagination but it was nowhere near the quality I required.

Another problem I’d been having with BlogFusion from the get go is that it made it very hard to control blog comments spam. It completely ignored the blocked IP addresses list and, despite its very sophisticated admin interface, it was very tedious to delete spam comments made to several entries. There were other things as well but the point here is not to bash BlogFusion but to explain why I felt I had to switch again. BlogFusion 5 may end up to be a lot better but it will probably end up being a lot more than I need.

In the meantime, BlogCFC has evolved quite nicely in the last 2 years. It now offers all the functionality I wanted and then some and now has a very nice Web admin interface. The app’s underlying structure is also far better organized and more modular and changing the look of the app will be far easier than it has been for BLogFusion. It feels good to be back to BlogCFC and I can’t wait to see what Ray has planned for it in the future.

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