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On Tumblelogs and Why I Love Habari

 |  Geek, PHP

For at least 4-5 years I’ve been desperate to turn my blog into a sort of “tumblelog”; that is, a blog that consists of multiple content types that you can easily update with more than just full on text entries. The problem is, at first I lacked the know-how to achieve it — my early blog/CMS was far too primitive and would have been virtually impossible to easily update — and then I flicked back and forth with WordPress which would have required intensive hacking about of an already bloated system.

A few years ago Tumblr came along, providing the theoretical answer to all my prayers… except 3rd party services and I don’t get along. I don’t trust other people to look after my data. (This is why I don’t post anything meaningful to twitter, incidentally.)

Fast-forward to a few months ago, and I was chatting about life streams, tumblelogs, updating websites to the girls on IRC and turns out I wasn’t the only one with this goal in mind. Furthermore, as I’ve converted a few people to Habari lately, we were all singing from the same hymn sheet (what a daft phrase) in terms of CMS, making it easier to come up with a solution that would work for us all.

As it happens, Habari has a content types plugin — created and maintained by the Habari Community, so I know it’s secure — which allows me to create custom content types on my blog to allow me to easily post photos, quotes etc with their own styling. Because of Habari’s fantastic, simple theming system it’s a piece of piss to make it do different things with different post types (no messing with complex PHP, it’s as easy as creating a .php file!) This is why I love Habari.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

23 comments so far

  1. Caasi said:

    I’ve been wanting to go with more of a tumblelog set up too but have lacked the knowledge on how to acheive it. I like tumblr, but I don’t really get along with it either. WordPress is great for what it is, but it and I are not really getting along at the moment.

    I think I’ll have to give Habari a go.

  2. Catherine said:

    Now that I think about it, I’d like to do something like this as well. I like Tumblr as an idea, but not to the point where I actually use it for more than three posts.

    When that guide you mentioned above me comes to fruition I’ll definitely give it a go. :)

  3. Jem said:

    Yesss, credits to you Melissa for finding it :D I didn’t want to name you in the post in case it gave anything away about your revamp XD

    I am already playing with new types but want a new layout to make it all work, then I’ll release in one go. Woot woot!

  4. Jenn said:

    I can’t wait for you to write a guide about it. :) I have been dying to do this because I used Chyrp and I loved it. But needed something a little more powerful, hints Habari. Looking forward to the changes with you and Melissa.

  5. Angela said:

    Oh oh oh, you may have given me the reason to switch from WP to Habari! I’ve always wanted to be able to easily do the Tumblog, but like you, I don’t trust to put my most important stuff on a 3rd party site! I think I may have to make the switch :O! My only question is, what is the templating like for Habari?

  6. Jem said:

    Really easy, Angela. Or certainly, I think so. There’s limited documentation on Habari so it’s easiest to start with a free theme and go from there, but one you realise how it ties in it’s SO easy.

  7. Morydd said:

    I’m glad you’re liking the flexibility of Habari so much. If you can let us know where you see shortcomings in the docs, it’d be great.

  8. Jem said:

    TBH I’ve not really checked in a while Morydd because I’m busy with baby, so things could have quite possibly improved. I’ll take a look, and then maybe get off my butt and contribute like I’ve been promising for months :P

  9. Jordan said:

    I wish I had the urge to blog more often and then maybe I’d feel more inspired to have more of a Tumblog with various custom post types.

    Can’t ever get me to convert to Habari although wouldn’t mind it sometime in the future.. when I’m not so lazy. With WordPress introducing new custom post types (without having to make a crazy functions.php page with thousands of lines!), it does kind of inspire me to do something similar. But again.. that lazy bit? Yeah.. :|

  10. Catherine said:

    I have been waiting for Habari to have this feature so I can switch! Custom posts thing was the only thing keeping me to wp. I am so tired of using wordpress with all it’s millions of features I don’t need (really, I just want a simply tumblr style blog). Can’t wait for your guide. : )

    ps. hope you don’t mind me asking but does Habari have a plugin for "currently listening" and "mood" fields?

  11. Amanda said:

    That sounds like an awesome feature for Habari. It makes me want to check into it to see if it’s something I’d be able to understand. It sounds like a really great CMS.

  12. Anthony said:

    I moved to Tumblr awhile back and it’s been fantastic. Theming is incredibly easy and there’s a program that allows you to back up all of your posts. Although, I can understand why you find 3rd party services iffy.

  13. Aisling said:

    I keep getting very close to switching to Habari and then for some reason I don’t. :S I have a Tumblr, but I’d like to integrate the two, I think. Except I might worry that I’d spam my own blog!

  14. Jenny said:

    Ever since I switched to Habari from WordPress, I am able to create my own themes instead of relying on free themes I downloaded from other websites. I’ve tried hard to learn how to create WordPress themes before, but everything was too complicated for someone like me. Habari was extremely easy to adjust to. I believe it’s much more simpler than WordPress, and it freed a lot of space.


  15. Monica said:

    Have you ever tried Drupal? I know it’s normally used for sites other than blogs, and the learning curve is supposed to be high (and that doesn’t seem to be the case with Habari), but it comes with the ability to create contents straight out of the box (nodes). It is one of my favorite things about Drupal, and I think one of the three things that makes it so powerful (the other two being Views and Blocks). If I had a dedicated server, I would totally switch to Drupal. Also, I believe the Pods plugin for WordPress lets you create custom content types, although it did seem unnecessarily complicated when I tried it out. You need to understand PHP really well to harness its full power.

  16. Monica said:

    Oh, I wanted to add to my previous comment that I’ve also been looking for a simple content management system that allows you to make custom content types. If the Habari plugin is comparable to the "nodes" feature in Drupal, then I’ll most likely use Habari for my blog, but only if. So far I haven’t seen anything that compares to the "node" feature in Drupal. :-/

  17. Rise said:

    I know that this has nothing to do with your post, but do you know how to get WordPress to show a list of child categories for the current page you are on?

  18. Adam said:

    I’ve always thought Chyrp is pretty cool for its "feathers" extension which allows different content types, and I’ve also thought it would be cool if Tumblr released a script, although Tumblr is very basic/simple. Basically, I support the use of tumblelog-type blogs, although I wouldn’t do it myself, since I’d probably just end up creating text posts nearly every time.

  19. Chantelle said:

    Interesting. :) I was looking at Habari, MT, WordPress, etc. the other day and trying to decide which one I should install to get my site up and going again. This pulls me more in Habari’s direction.

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