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I want to experiment with blogs on my pages to see if it can improve my ranking and traffic. I don't have much experience with xml feeds or blogs, so what would be a recommended free blogger script I would use?
The xml feeds you're referring to are to be displayed on your site or linked to for your visitors to use? Most sites simply place a link to their feed file...that's where you see all those little orange RSS and XML buttons.
MovableType and Blogger are some common platforms. There are a number of others that may fit your needs, but it really depends on what you're trying to do.
I am able to enable php parsing of html pages on one of 2 webhosts where I have some of my domains hosted, by adding a line to .htaccess, but this practice is strictly prohibited on the other webhost I use. Doesn't this put a strain on the webserver?
Isn't blogger a site where you publish your blogs? I looked there and didn't see any blog scripts I'd install on my site.
I'm also getting the feeling that you are looking at blogs and xml feeds as ways to include other people's information on your website. This is possible to a certain extent. If that's the case I'd suggest looking over at someplace like hotscripts.com to find something that meets your requirements.
It will be used for homework assignments.
The teachers will update their class's blogs daily with homework and reminders. The school's site will (if possible) display the blog on the particular classroom's page as well as the students being able to subscribe to the feed via email and or a desktop aggregator. Actually a pretty cool thing if it can be done.