FlatPress; a wordpress alternative?
To host a blog, you need a domain name, a host and a SQL database. Usually, your host servers and your SQL server are hosted on different machines, accidents do happen and without access to both machines, your blog goes down. A viable solution is to eliminate the need for your database and just stick with your host. Enter FlatPress.
FlatPress aims to have the same functionalities as WordPress, along with some of the look and feel and because FlatPress does not require MySQL to work, it’s a feature that benefits people who do not want to spend a lot of money for a hosted site with a MySQL database. FlatPress also adheres to xhtml 1,1, Smarty for graphical template management, and the ability to from SimplePHPBlog.
What I need to know?
As of the moment, themes are configurable to a point but they come close to WordPress themes because of the Smarty template engine. There are however, few ports of popular themes for FlatPress.
There are some plugins from WordPress, if you choose to use them, that can be used for FlatPress but they don’t work out of the box. A bit of tweaking is necessary to eliminate queries that access the database and redirect them to access FlatPress’ I/O reader.
Interested already? If you want to check FlatPress out, all you need is a PHP 4 enabled webspace.
Flat files vs Database access
A lot of people will probably ask how FlatPress performs head to head with WordPress.
For a small, personal blog, a flat file will serve just as well, if not better than a database because you need fewer resources, have less connections (host to sql to host). If you are simply grabbing plain chunks of text data over and over (like posts, comments, statistics), flat files are a better solution than mysql. Back-ups can also be done in a second without resorting to specialized software.
If you have a big and busy blog however, deadlocks occur and it’s one big advantage that databases offer but these RARELY occurs, notably on high loads. Databases also allow complex searches.
Is FlatPress for me?
The choice utterly depends on what you’ll be doing with your blog. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s a great platform to begin blogging even when using FREE webspace (geocities, cjb or any other free host).