Blogging with PmWiki: BlogIt

BlogIt provides a pretty comprehensive blogging platform for PmWiki. The Blogit project page is maintained separately, but the BlogIt tag on this site will provide basic updates, and my current thinking on what's coming up next. I run all my blogs using BlogIt -- you can check them out from the main tab links at the top.

You can also check out the open demo -- the Admin password is "blogadmin", and the Edit password is "blogedit" -- no user name is needed. Feel free to add new blog entries, add comments, login as admin and approve a few comments.

I've used most of the more popular blogging platforms in the past few years, but most of them fell short many areas, but in particular in their ability to provide blogs across multiple domains, running from a single installation of the software. I wanted to maintain a few blogs on very different topics, hence the domain separation, but did not want to have the hassle of maintaining multiple software installations, with numerous skins, extensions, and upgrades that managing a self-hosted blog entails. Not one of the many platforms available was able to do this effectively. There were a few that came close (Lyceum, and Drupal were closest), but each came with their own additional baggage, which in both cases ended up in abandonment.

PmWiki however has a concept of 'farms'. Basically this allows separate wikis, running from a common software installation. There's a lot of flexibility with farms. You can choose to share some things, and keep others separate. So, for my blogs, I keep all content files separate, but maintain a single source for cookbooks, skins, and a few common content files. That way an upgrade is a simple matter. Backups are really simple, since I can just copy files from the server, as there is no database with PmWiki.

After using PmWiki very successfully for a few years over at MR2 Wiki, I decided to succumb to the 'not-invented-here' syndrome, and develop my own blogging platform on top of PmWiki. Thus was BlogIt born.

BlogIt provides the core features demanded of a blogging system, including blog entry, blog management, comment entry and approval, and comment management, and comes with pagelists providing most features provided in other blog systems. Additional features like ping-backs, notifications, RSS feeds, and tag-clouds, can be added using existing Pmwiki cookbooks.

One of the key things that seems to drive users to one blogging platform over another is the availability of skins. Unfortunately this is one of PmWiki's Achilles heels (yes, PmWiki has other weaknesses). So very early on I decided to ensure BlogIt would be able to provide the same look and feel as other blog platforms, and I'm committed to porting over as many of the very best looking skins from other platforms as I can. Looking good is important.

Writing a blog platform is an odd decision when there is such huge competition, but one which I think is easily justified, based on the ability to run multiple blogs from a single install. Spend time writing, not supporting!

Also check out some of the more recent BlogIt related entries below, or the full list of BlogIt related material.



  1. By Del DeVries, on November 01, 2009, at 05:37 AM
    Thanks for your efforts David! I found your site looking for skins for PMwiki. I agree that the lack of skins has been a negative. The amount of effort to port skins is rather substantial! Thanks!
  2. By David Gilbert, on November 02, 2009, at 11:13 AM
    Thanks for the comment. The effort to port skins isn't too bad -- taking the skin beyond where the original designer intended is where the time goes. Things like adding fluid layouts, and new color themes to skins not designed for that would take some time on any platform.
  3. By Stéphane, on January 31, 2010, at 06:00 AM
    Well done !
    Introducing Ajax & end-users effects in the next version would be a big plus !
  4. By Blonder, on August 25, 2010, at 01:34 PM
    I am using blog-it (very good job, many thanks) and I am having problems with
    .../blogit/jquery-ui/ui-lightness/jquery-ui.custom.css and

    The W3C CSS Validator signals 55 errors.
    .ui-helper-zfix Parse Error Opacity=0)
    .ui-corner-br Property -moz-border-radius-bottomright doesn't exist : 4px 4px ...


    Have you got a solution for this?
  5. By Blonder, on August 25, 2010, at 01:47 PM
Also I had problems in the prevvious release with the External Links pmwiki cookbook
because the icons dissapeared.

I replaced the line
  '$PubDirUrl/blogit/blogit-pmwiki.css');  ...

  'pub/css/local.css' => '$PubDirUrl/css/local.css',
  'pub/blogit/blogit-pmwiki.css' => '$PubDirUrl/blogit/blogit-pmwiki.css'));

in file blogit-pmwiki.css

Is this fixed in the new release?
  1. By daveg, on August 28, 2010, at 04:50 PM
    @Blonder: Thanks for letting me know.

    I've added both issues to the known issues list.
  2. By Blonder, on September 04, 2010, at 12:26 PM
    Future Dates did not work correctly:
    Hello, I set $bi_DisplayFuture = 'true'; to display also future dates. This works fine for the blog list but not if the user clicks on this post. From the selected post only the caption is displayed without text, comments, keywords.
  3. By daveg, on September 04, 2010, at 12:49 PM
    If you don't see the boy of the entry that suggests that the entry either isn't Published, or you don't have PmWiki privs for the entry.
  4. By Blonder, on September 04, 2010, at 01:05 PM
    Addition to last post: Also the past and current posts are affected by the $bi_DisplayFuture = 'true'; problem.
  5. By daveg, on September 05, 2010, at 12:17 PM
    My guess is that you have a problem with dates, and setting date formats. If you email me your site url, and date settings I'll take a look.

    Verify: XL date formats; $bi_DateStyle; make sure you're on the latest version of BlogIt.
  6. By Blonder, on October 17, 2010, at 12:00 PM
    Hello again,

    I have a problem with the summary pagelist and images.
    I use list the following code for the summary:
    ( :blogid:blog1: )
    ( :includesection "#blog-summary-pagelist blogid={$ :blogid} pagenav=true status=publish count=10": )

    My blogs entries are all using the Mini cookbook to display images and the downloadman for attached files.

    The problem is now that the images and disappear and the links are broken.

    Have you a solution / workaround for this?
    Thanks, Blonder.
  7. By harrie, on November 06, 2010, at 08:31 PM
    I can't get the "leave a comment" section (form) to work. The blog entry form works, but the comment form section does not appear (not visible). Do you have a solution. I am working with the skittlish template and have created the Site.BlogIt-SkinTemplate-skittlish page. What am I missing?
  8. By Blonder, on November 09, 2010, at 02:11 PM
    action=bi_ne problem:

    Hello again,
    I have a problem with the action=bi_ne, the page only shows
    blog title, status, comment, text and autor.
    In the autor field the current date appears for new blog entries.
    If editing an existing blog entry, the content isn't dispalyed in the page, only empty fields are displayed.
    Can you help me please. I updated to pmwiki version 2.2.18, I don't know if this was the reason.
  9. By Blonder, on November 12, 2010, at 02:23 PM
    I have a question about the #blog-summary-pagelist:
    Is it possible to have an upper limit of lines (e.g. 10) of text for each entry of the summary page list and a "Read more" link below the entries?
    Thanks, Blonder.
  10. By David Gilbert, on November 12, 2010, at 04:40 PM
    @harrie: I suspect the problem is that you created the Site.BlogIt-SkinTemplate-skittlish page. Don't create it. BlogIt will pick up that page automatically from the skin directory.
  11. By David Gilbert, on November 12, 2010, at 04:43 PM
    @Blonder: So you basically want an automatic Read More link after a specific number of lines? That's not currently possible, but I'll add it to the request list.
  12. By Wade, on January 02, 2012, at 09:25 PM
    I'm setting up a new site with pmwiki and the Blix skin and am interested in adding BlogIt. But I can't find the "new entry" link on, which I'd like to do.

    Any thoughts?

  13. By daveg, on January 05, 2012, at 09:48 PM
    Thanks for highlighting this. The demo site has been updated to allow new entries to be created.