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I've been using dasBlog for almost two years now, but I've recently upgraded my server. As you'll see if you click that link, the first page can take an unacceptably long time to load. It would take even longer, but I've already spent more time than I want to optimizing settings, removing slow content, and anything else I can think of to fix the problem. The new server is way faster than the old one, so that's not the issue (it used to run a 700Mhz PIII with no trouble).

So now I'm starting to explore alternativies to dasBlog. Can anyone make any good recommendations? My requirements:

  • Works with ASP.Net (.Net 2.0), IIS
  • Can import my old dasBlog posts, including mimicking the url format (I can hack the code a little if required)
  • Free
  • If it uses a database backend rather than file-based, it must work on Sql Server 2005.
  • Will let me match the look of my existing custom dasBlog theme. I'm willing to spend time converting between theme formats, as long as it's not too painful.
  • Reasonably fast load times — < 2 seconds to load the home page on initial (uncached) requests

Bonus requirements:

  • Preferably still xml-based like dasBlog, so I can still do simple file-based backups
  • Uses more modern programming styles (dasBlog started out on .Net 1.1, and the code shows it;it's not bad, but .Net 2.0 and 3.5 both changed how a lot of things should be done). Things like a good provider-based data store and membership systems, master pages for themes, works in medium or low trust, etc.
  • Open source so I can play with the code some
  • Active Directory integration for contributing users (not really important, but something I missed in dasBlog)
  • Still in active development (dasBlog's last release was in March. It does still get updates, but it looks like it's losing momentum).
  • Supports code syntax highlighting (preferrably via a recent FreeTextBox editor)

Alternatively, if anyone visits the site and just happens to notice something obviously way out of whack I overlooked that might be causing my slowdowns, I wouldn't mind hearing about it.

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Asked here rather than stackoverflow because it's a question about what blogging software to pick more than than how to fix the a code problem in a web site. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 7 '09 at 17:23
    
You are really going to hate me when I say that this is a duplicate: superuser.com/questions/36350/which-net-blog-should-i-use –  Diago Sep 7 '09 at 18:56
    
lol @Diago. I'm looking at that, but my initial impression is that my requirements are a lot more specific. Still: very useful. Fortunately, I think I'm in a situation where I can try installing an instance of each and then just putting whichever one live seems to work best for me. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 8 '09 at 1:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd recommend BlogEngine. I also switched from dasBlog, and have been happy with the customization and support for Windows Live Writer.

dasBlog was far too difficult to coerce into outputting the HTML that I wanted. There were pain points, especially on the customization. I would love to re-evaluate dasBlog on another version, but today its learning curve is steep.

I would have liked to have moved to SubText, but didn't have the flexibility of having a SQL Server backend. Subtext requires it. I use SubText for my at-work internal blog, and I like it. Their editor is underwhelming. A perfect substitute would be the editor from SO/SF/SU. Perhaps Subtext could provide pluggable editors; that would be a nice feature!

For BlogEngine, it meets these points in your criteria:

  • Works with ASP.Net (.Net 2.0) & IIS
  • Free
  • Open source and XML based
  • import my old dasBlog posts - yes, you'll have to use the DasBlog to BlogML converter.
  • mimicking the url format - I am not 100%, but I get the feeling that'd require some ninja skills. I think BlogEngine will do URL re-writing though.
  • custom themeing - yes, you can hack at the themes, but I get the feelign this will be time consuming.
  • Reasonably fast load times - I can't comment; haven't run it locally for benchmarks! :(
  • Active Directory integration - I don't think this is a feature in BlogEngine.
  • Still in active development - kind of. Last release was April 2009
  • code syntax highlighting - I rely on WLW to do this.

Here's an article on making the move from dasBlog to BlogEngine.NET.

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It does support plug-gable editors but it has to be done via code. However I prefer LiveWriter or Ecto for editing. –  Diago Sep 7 '09 at 19:25
    
The sql server requirement for subtext is why I initially chose dasBlog. There was no way sql server was going to work well on my old 700Mhz PIII. Now that's less of an issue, but I've also learned to appreciate being able to just copy a set of files to do my backups. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 8 '09 at 1:14
    
Set up BlogEngine last week. ...and it took the whole week. You were right about getting the theme right being time consuming. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 14 '09 at 16:24

SubText is what I moved to after leaving dasBlog. It is maintained by Phil Haack and currently undergoing a overhaul towards MVC, no surprise there. Using BlogML you can convert from dasBlog to SubText, and I have done some interesting hacks of the code over time personally. I use it for all my blogs.

BlogEngine.Net is my second choice. However still a bit young but also very powerful out of the box.

Unfortunatly none of these have AD unless you write it yourself.

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I'll have to check out the status of the MVC overhaul. I've been looking for an excuse to dip into that, so if they're getting close to release that might be ideal. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 8 '09 at 1:16

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