Blogging on Google App Engine

  27 January 2013
 

Google App Engine can be used as a host for your blog. This site is currently hosted on App Engine. Out of the multiple options available over the internet (related to blogging on GAE), I found only a couple that were near my requirements and easily customizable. 

I moved on from a shared-hosting solution to GAE's infrastructure. Apart from GAE's excellent infrastructure - we also save on monthly/yearly hosting charges. Domain mapping to GAE is simple with the instructions and so is moving to the GMail for email@mydomain.com . 

Being a developer, it is also a good learning experience about creating and maintaining GAE applications. And (as a developer) it is easier to add tightly integrated functionality on your site without having to create plugins or do any kind of cross-site integration. Obviously you miss out on some or most of the out-of-the-box functionality that is available with most blogging engines like Wordpress.

While looking for a blogging on app-engine solution - I got down to two options that could be used as the base-code to begin customization

  1. Nick's blog
  2. Micolog

Nick's blog (the first option) looked simplistic and fast. I definitely learnt a lot from that blog and the articles over there. But when it came to my requirements and ease of customization, the second option Micolog felt much better.

If I had to redo everything again - I would use Nick's blog code as a template for three reasons:

  • Customizations / enhancements on Micolog ended up to be the same as I would do in Nick's blog-code.
  • Nick's blog is on a higher version of Python
  • And I have gotten more comfortable with GAE development

One of the better things about Micolog is its Wordpress tyoe of python implementation on GAE. Most of my early customizaitons were at creating a new theme. The secondary customizations were related to the core stuff that included some db-model changes.

You can find the source-code at GitHub

Some of the enhancements made to this:

  1. New theme specific to this site
  2. Added a slider db-module for managing the  home page slider images.
  3. Added contact-me page
  4. Using Google-Code-Prettify to highlight syntax
  5. Updated WYSIWYG editor - TinyMCE updated
  6. Added Shareaholic links to blog posts
  7. Added support for thumbnail images for blog posts (not so nice to use - but it works)
  8. Replaced the commenting with Disqus

Source-code at GitHub

In case you wish to run this, make sure you rename "cdml.z" to "app.yaml", and rename application name to yours.




 

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