Two Blogs, One Site
July 29, 2008 7:59 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I want to start a blog. Amazing new idea, right?! Anyways, we're bored and we have too much free time, so we want a place to write down or show things we think are funny. I used to keep a blog on typepad, so I'm familiar with using a service like that, but how possible would it be to setup a website where there are two blogs on it, running side by side?

I hope you can kind of imagine what I'm saying; a header at the top, some gradient and grungy background or something, but split down the middle with two areas to write on - one for her and one for me. Would this take some kind of insane code that would be impossible for a complete novice like myself to write? Please help. Or hey, if you're a web designer and want to help me, I'll draw you some artwork. I'm half decent. I mostly just want to know if it's possible and any links to websites demonstrating it, anyways. Thanks!
posted by Bageena to Technology (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Should be pretty easy with any hosted service (like movable type or, not .com) to just use two authors and then have the template pull entries from each author on the front page.
posted by shownomercy at 8:07 PM on July 29, 2008

Best answer: Something like this? Help here.
posted by abdulf at 8:16 PM on July 29, 2008

Create two blogs and make sure their site formats are set up to be 396 pixels wide. Then create a single page which contains a table (Eeew!) with two cells, each 400 cells wide, which do server-side includes or browser-side includes of those two blogs into the two cells.
posted by Class Goat at 8:25 PM on July 29, 2008


...each 400 pixels wide...
posted by Class Goat at 8:26 PM on July 29, 2008

Best answer: You know... I know of husbands and wives who are both bloggers... but I've never seen it side-by-side (though it's totally technically possible). That could be pretty cool.
posted by Jahaza at 8:52 PM on July 29, 2008

You could do this with Typepad, too; just issue an RSS feed from 2 different blogs (typepad pro allows multiple blogs/authors) and stick them side by side in the template.
posted by luriete at 9:06 PM on July 29, 2008

If you were gonna take out your own webspace, this is also possible with any of the reasonable content management services. I know for example that, in Druapl, this would be as easy as finding the right theme (2 columns), creating two different "node types" for each of you, and displaying one node type in each.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:34 PM on July 29, 2008

Response by poster: You guys are awesome!
posted by Bageena at 9:45 PM on July 29, 2008

Best answer: abdulf's solution looks to be a recipe for taking one blog and splitting it into two columns; it's a purely visual treatment, and doesn't actually involve two separate blogs or a blog with two authors.

If you were to use something like Wordpress for your dueling blogs, what you would do is create a theme that had two "loops" (this is Wordpress parlance for the code block that decides what posts to display on a page), each set to spit out content from a single author into separate div elements that you can then style using CSS to sit beside one another. All of this would require that you know a bit of PHP and HTML/CSS to get what you want. This guide to using multiple loops in a Wordpress theme would be a good start.

If, however, you don't want to get into the crazy programming stuff, you could try this Wordpress theme designed specifically for two authors sitting side by side. Here's an example of how it looks. I don't have any personal experience with the theme so I don't know how easy it is to customize, but otherwise it looks like it'd be right up your alley.
posted by chrominance at 9:57 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looking at the theme some more, it's a bit clunky in that you need to specify the proper author by filing your posts in a category devoted to that author—a bit silly when Wordpress already has the concept of authors built into the system. Keep that in mind when testing the theme out.
posted by chrominance at 10:01 PM on July 29, 2008

I think it probably makes sense to implement this as a single blog with multiple authors. The only hackery required is querying by author when retrieving and displaying posts for the home page and archive, which should be pretty simple for anyone with WordPress experience. You'll need to consider whether you want each column to line up for each new post/day (if you're both writing about the same topic at the same time) or just flow independently.

If you want to try to get a designer/developer to help out for little or no cost, it might be worth demonstrating your commitment by setting it up as a basic WordPress blog somewhere (using a one-click installer on some cheap hosting) and getting going with some posts. Even if someone wants to get involved for the fun of trying something new and showing off their skills, they'll want to know the blog'll last, and the data will be useful when developing the split theme.
posted by malevolent at 11:18 PM on July 29, 2008

There is another option that may work well for you and your wife. It is called Wordpress MU. The MU stands for Multi User. You basically install this on a site, and then using sub-domains you can set up many blogs.

Example: and

They would both be on the same site, but at different sub-domains. This would not get you the effect of having the screen split down the middle with one blog on one side and another blog on the other. However, it may be a solution that is worth looking at.
posted by HC Foo at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2008

I think this is one of those times when it would be best to "roll your own". Class Goat hit the nail on the head: you can accomplish this with PHP, MySQL, and CSS. You would get your hands a little dirty, but you would be able to customize the site to your heart's content, not having to settle with someone else's idea of what looks good.

It's a little "late 90's", but there's always Frames. As far as I know, they're still supported by modern browsers.
posted by hepatace at 8:04 AM on July 30, 2008

Here is an example of what you may be looking for? I don't know these people by the way, just read the blog occasionally.
posted by ardief at 8:05 AM on July 30, 2008

I'd recommend Pivot as the blogging software in this particular instance. Pivot's architecture is such that it seperates out users, posts, and blogs- So one user can create a post and attach it to multiple blogs, or multiple users can create posts that go to an "everyone" blog, etc. It will take some template fiddling, but you should be able to get it so that "left side for one user, right side for the other user" works without too much hassle- I'd recommend asking in the user forums.
posted by callingshotgun at 8:36 AM on July 30, 2008

Drupal install.
include modules, blog and panels.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 9:43 AM on July 30, 2008

For a complete novice-- get 2 tumblr accounts and take a look at this source code:

Obviously this can be styled as you wish, although the lo-fi look is kind of refreshing.
posted by acidic at 2:19 PM on July 30, 2008

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