What is online serendipity 1

Serendipity (1): Approaching a blog engine

Today the “Serendipity Theme Week” starts here at UPLOAD. Five parts are about this interesting blog software and what it can do. In the first part we approach each other very carefully. Among other things, two topics are dealt with: What requirements does Serendipity have and how does the installation work.

Serendipity's official website: s9y.org

How I got into Serendipity

It was around three years ago when I decided that I needed a place next to a wiki and a bulletin board to present my links, information splinters and possibly my thoughts. So a blog was needed. At opensourcecms.com I first looked around to see what blog software was available. This page is more than recommendable because you not only get a list of free web software, but you can also try it out online in a test installation. Textpattern, WordPress, b2evolution and Serendipity (also called S9y) were shortlisted and I installed (what a hassle ;-)) all four systems to try them out even more thoroughly. I immediately liked Serendipity. A simple installation routine and a tidy administration interface on which I could clearly see the functions, so that I had my first article online within two minutes.


S9y doesn't need much for operation on a server or its own web space: PHP (from 4.3.0) and a database (MySQL (i), PostgreSQL, SQLite). Certain plugins such as Spartacus (see the section on plugins) require a “SAFE MODE OFF” (but there are workarounds for this as well).

The installation

“Keep it simple” should be the name of the S9y installation routine. Get the S9y files, move the entire S9y directory to its place on the server via FTP. In order to be able to use uploads or Spartacus sensibly, some directories would have to be set to “CHMOD 777”. Any FTP program can do that. Then you call up the blog for the first time. An installation mask appears in which you enter the database and its access data and a few general information about the blog, such as the name. S9y automatically checks whether all necessary directories can be written to and then also configures the database. After that, the blog is basically ready for the first article. For example, you don't have to edit any configuration files or anything like that.

By the way: Updates work just as easily: Upload the file via FTP, start the installation routine. This checks whether the database needs an update, carries it out if necessary and that's it.

And tomorrow…

... let's take a first look behind the scenes. We take a look at Serendipity's control center, the “administration interface”.

All parts at a glance

About the author

Robert Lender writes in his “Just a Blog” on various topics - from mobile communication, Heinz Conrads to the web and blogging. His favorite topic, however, is the use of Serendipity / S9y for a wide variety of purposes and ideas. As a committed “Serendipity Evangelist”, he also offers web sessions on Serendipity. The WebPlausch is Robert's idea to pass on knowledge on a low-threshold basis and to share it with others.