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I'm still learning EE. It seems easy enough to build something like a custom blog: define the fields I want, assign them to a channel, create templates to output the channel entries. Done.

But let's say I build a blog feature that I want to keep reusing. Is there a way to "package" what I have already created on one site so that it can be installed on another? Perhaps if this was the goal, I should not have built it using the Channels/Templates/etc CPanel in EE -- instead approach it some other way?

Some guidance please.

Update 1:

Just a side question: is there a blog addon for EE that's good? It's simple enough to build a basic one, but if someone has already taken the time to give it a lot of thought and do it "properly", I'd rather use that. I would probably want to update the template files to make it use Twitter Bootstrap if it doesn't already.

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Leevie Graham introduced NSM Site Generator at EECI 2012 in Leiden. It’s an add-on which lets you build themes or reusable modules/packages including channels, custom fields, categories and statuses.

I have not tried it by myself but EE-Garage’s other add-ons are top-notch.

Check out Leevie’s slides from EECI 2012 Europe.

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You could create a base install with a database that includes all the channels, fields and templates that you like to use. Simply export the db from your base install and import it into your new project, and you have a site set up with everything set up the way you like.

You could maybe set up different base installs for different types of sites, e.g. one for a blog, or you could include a blog as a part of a larger base install and then just delete it if you don't need it. It depends on how you like to work and the needs of individual projects.

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  • Just don't forget to run a query (or amend your SQL install query) to update URLs and File Paths for each environment. You could probably package your base template into an archive file and then write a simple shell script / batch file to perform the install with a user prompt to input the paths of your server. – Lea Hayes Dec 9 '12 at 16:25
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    Or, even better, bootstrap your config and never set a server path or URL again... – Tom Davies Dec 9 '12 at 18:32
  • Yep, that's right. I never have problems with server paths when using a bootstrap config. – Tyssen Dec 9 '12 at 21:41
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There is not a "blog addon" for ExpressionEngine specifically. Blogs are built with the native channels/fields/categories as needed for your specific project. EE is such that you have a blank slate when you start and you build exactly what you need.

You could build an EE addon that created your channel, fields, templates, etc with the click of a button if you wanted to replicate over and over. An easier approach would be to so a base install and replicate that for each project as needed.

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  • How would you build a "base install?" – ExpressionEngineNewbie Dec 9 '12 at 21:28
  • You'd install EE and configure everything (settings, channels, etc) as you would like. Then you'd clone that installation (files and DB) as needed. – Anna_MediaGirl Dec 10 '12 at 4:36

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