Written by Mr Rebecchi
Building a blog with Anchor
I've just built this blog in no-time at all using a super-lightweight and super fast content management system.
Firstly I'll get started on the steps I took when implementing this:
I did some research on a Content Management System (CMS) I could use that was simple, lightweight and most importantly; fast. I eventually decided on this wonderful CMS you see before you, available totally free from the Anchor website.
I uploaded the files to my web server in a new folder called blog. This is why when you go to thebillington.co.uk/blog it brings you to my main blog page.
NOTE: unless you have an online or virtual server in which to run the Anchor CMS you won't be able to test it out. This is because your browser is unable to run .php files.
- I created a database on my webserver, and then went to the
/blogdirectory on my web browser to start the Anchor installation process. I pointed the Anchor to my database using 'localhost' and gave it my user credentials for the DB. I was then able to install without a hitch.
NOTE: Make sure to delete the
/install directory that is included with Anchor after the installation has completed. This is because it is a security risk and could be used as a backdoor into your server otherwise.
Next I got familiar with the Anchor backend as it is unlike anything I have used before. To change your blog settings, from your admin page go to
Extend >> Site Metadataand you can change some of your site options in there. However this isn't a comprehensive list of what you can change on your site. Namely there is no option to change your footer, page title or favicon. This had to all be done through code, so be wary. Anchor isn't too friendly to the PHP noob.
I decided to have a look what themes were available for Anchor, as I wanted something simple and clean. I found the Theme I'm currently using; Write, on the Anchor themes page. It's clean, simple and I really do love the look of it. Thank you Kostya Kozak for a great free and customisable theme!
Now it was time to delve into the code. I spent a good amount of time searching through the filesystem of Anchor before I discovered what I wanted. The options to change your favicon etc are none existent, so I had to go trawling. You're gonna need to look at
posts.phpinside the main directory of the theme. You're also going to want to look at
style.cssin the css folder to change anything you don't like about the look of your theme. Changing these files let me update my site title, add meta-tags into the header and even include the simple menu bar at the top of the site.
Lastly, I had to come into the backend of the website and write my first blog post. Voila, think that's ticked as well now. Love it or hate it markdown is included as standard in the Anchor backend and you can write all of your blog posts using it. Personally I've been doing some standard HTML within the Anchor text editor for my links etc, and having access to the style.css on demand is a godsend. I may have to eventually yield though and switch over to using markdown for good.
So that's it, building a basic blog from A to B. I was wary about getting started using Anchor as I've been a solid Wordpress enthusiast for a good few years now, but I'm getting to like using a new CMS and there's only good places for Anchor to go as more web developers catch on with it.
With the announcement of plugins for Anchor as well, and functionality being introduced soon, it's only a matter of time before we see some great tools being introduced.
Let me know what thought of the article in the comments below, and if you've got any of your own hints and tips when setting up or using Anchor then please do share!