Welcomes long overdue

It’s been quite a while since I announced the latest folks to join Freedom Blogs. Here goes!


Freedom Blogs will mirror censored websites

I am pleased to announce, after reading Global Voices Advocacy’s Guide: Mirroring a Censored WordPress Blog, that I am willing to mirror blogs or other websites at Freedom Blogs which:

  • are worthy, in my view, of being defended against censorship;
  • don’t cause me to lose my paid hosting accounts or ad network access;
  • don’t get me killed, tortured, spindled, folded or mutilated (I’m very much against being spindled);
  • are primarily text-based, since I can’t support mirroring images, audio or video; and
  • are accessible via an RSS or ATOM syndication feed.

Additionally, Freedom Blogs will provide primary hosting for existing mirrored sites (blogs only) which are taken down by governmental, corporate or other censorship. Alternately, I will work with you to provide the mirrored content for you to re-deploy elsewhere, and re-establish the mirroring.

Per the (loose) Freedom Blogs charter, the operation of your mirror or primary site will be supported by advertising. Meanwhile, I would like to help people who are being censored reach their audience.

If you have your own domain name, you can bring it to me; otherwise, your site will be mirrored as (something descriptive that you choose)

Please contact mike at gogulski dot com if you are in need of this service.

Reorganize your WordPress posting screen

WordPress as a content management and blogging platform just keeps getting better and better. Since I started using it last year, the new features introduced have really blown me away!

One of the nicest of these is the ability to customize the layout of the posting screen. I’m still looking into how to create an “optimal” base layout for folks who get their own Freedom Blog, so until I can do that, I feel I should offer a bit of advice.

Open your site’s dashboard and either go to Posts->Add New at the left, or just whack the big “New Post” button at the top right. The posting screen will come up.

See all those gray bars with titles like “Publish”, “Categories” and (scroll down) “Custom Fields”? Each of those bars and their boxes is a set of controls for additional options you have any time you publish something.

I almost never use most of these, and a few I use all the time. Every post goes into a category, so I keep the Categories control in place. I also keep Publish right up on top. Of the remainder, all I ever really use are: Suggested tags (from the Simple Tags plugin), Tags (Simple Tags) and Excerpt.

Creating an excerpt for each of your posts is pretty important. These get turned into descriptions that search engines and also social sites like Facebook and so on look at. An excerpt should be short and direct (no more than 200 characters or so, preferably less) and describe your post in a clear and direct way. I keep the Excerpt box up near the edit window, both for convenience and to remind me to write an excerpt for all my posts. If you don’t see it on the post screen, scroll down until you do. Drag it up until it’s below the posting screen, and use the arrow that appears when you hover over the gray bar to open it up. This setting will then remain in place for you in the future.

For tags, I use the Simple Tags plugin in preference to what comes included with WordPress. Unlike the hierarchical categories, tags are a more “horizontal” way to create navigation through your content. On Freedom Blogs, they also get turned into HTML meta keywords, which affect how search engines look at your post in mysterious ways. If you want to set up like I do, drag the Simple Tags tag list window over to the right side under Categories, and the Suggested tags box right up under the editing window.

And that’s basically it! Everything else on the right panel I drag into the center, minimize with the arrow, and push to the bottom. Almost all the good stuff on my sites happens automatically, so I don’t bother tweaking things in those other areas too often.

So take a look, get some of that clutter out of the way on your posting screen, push the important parts front and center, and you’ll be saving yourself just that little bit of all-too-precious time every time you go to write something on your blog!

Welcome to another new Freedom Blogger!

Martin Rojko

Martin Rojko

A professional real estate journalist in Bratislava, Slovakia, Martin Rojko has been blogging for a number of years at his Súkromné vlastníctvo (“Private Ownership”) site on blogger.

Martin has now migrated all of this posts to his new Freedom Blog,, and is raring to go!

So, a warm welcome for Martin, who claims the honor of being Freedom Blogs’ first with a non-English site. Vítaj na Freedom Blogs!

Welcome new Freedom Bloggers!

A raft new new Freedom Bloggers to announce this week:

Arthur Stromboli is making a new, aptly-named online nest at

Matt Crandall’s sent-rif-ick-al-fors blog is now located here, at

And finally, Edith Ganglions is finding slices of security at

Welcome to all of you!

Google Analytics on Freedom Blogs

Can you run Google Analytics on your Freedom Blogs account?

Of course! In fact, it’s easy! No extra plugins required.

Your Freedom Blog comes with a powerful WordPress search engine optimization (SEO) plugin called HeadSpace2 pre-installed which supports Google Analytics.

To set up Google Analytics:

  • Log in to your dashboard
  • Click Settings at left
  • Click Headspace
  • Click Site Modules up top
  • Check the “Google Analytics” checkbox
  • Click the configure button at the right of the Google Analytics bar
  • A dropdown menu will appear, and you can insert your Google Analytics ID (UA-######-## or whatever) and configure other options

And voila! One of the best website statistics tools on the internet, just for you! Enjoy!

Another 2 Freedom Bloggers, another welcome!

A big welcome to the newest Freedom Bloggers:

Ryan Maddox, crew member for the Motorhome Diaries, will be blogging at Make Total Destroy.

Anthony Martin, who describes himself as “some guy from California” (but is really much more!) has begun his new site, Inertia.

Welcome, new Freedom Bloggers!

A warm welcome to the latest two Freedom Bloggers!

Liberty Snippet describes herself as a “middle-aged working mom with a vision for a free world”, and has moved here from blogspot. Her site is

Frank Purcell is an educator and old-school computer hacker (i.e. he was building computers in the 1960s). He’ll be blogging at

Yay, freedom!

Introducing Freedom Blogs


Freedom Blogs is a free blog hosting service for freedom-lovers everywhere, based on the popular and powerful WordPress system and operated by Mike Gogulski.



In exchange for allowing me to run ads on your blog, you get many benefits. While you can already get a free blog, I offer more service, support and flexibility than Blogger or You can install any theme and customize it as you wish and install plugins to add capabilities — allows only “approved” themes, and no plugins at all.

You also get my personal attention and assistance in operating the platform for you, freeing you to just WRITE while taking full advantage of self-hosted WordPress. My goal is to provide a secure, reliable platform. You can trust that the technical stuff is handled, and focus on publishing what you have to tell the world.

Included services:

  • Private WordPress installation with full Administrator access (or Editor, if you prefer)
  • Your domain name or a subdomain of, or
  • Hosting by DreamHost, an experienced, reliable provider
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Local image upload and hosting
  • Existing Blogger,,, etc. blogs imported for you
  • As many user accounts as you need to help customize and run it or for a group blog
  • Search engine optimization so the world finds you easily
  • Useful plug-ins and themes available for immediate use
  • My help selecting and installing appropriate plugins for specific functions
  • Anti-spam and anti-virus
  • Comprehensive visitor statistics
  • Support via email or instant messaging
  • WordPress and plugin software updates
  • Announcement and blogrolling of your site at (optional)
  • Automated backup and restore or re-install in the event of problems (optional)

And the catch is…?

There’s always a catch! At Freedom Blogs, I think you’ll find the trade-off acceptable.

The deal is that you let me add a few links to my other websites and run ads on your blog. These might be from Google AdSense, text-link-ads, affiliate marketing programs and so on. I’m probably just as sick of big obnoxious advertising on the internet as you are, so I promise to make the ads relatively small and unobtrusive. Absolutely no Flash animations, pop-ups, sliding windows or such nonsense will appear. If you find something I put up objectionable or stupid, just contact me and we’ll find a solution. Just leave the links, ads and the plugins I require in place and the service remains free to you.

If you really can’t tolerate ads, I’m still happy to host you. What’s that worth? You decide! Send me a proposal and we’ll work something out.

Terms and conditions

Can we forget the lawyers and just make a mutually agreeable deal? If you’re ever unhappy, just let me know. If we can’t work it out to your full satisfaction, your recourse is to quit using the service and badmouth it and me all over the planet.

Customize your Freedom Blogs account as you see fit, but don’t mess with or remove the installed plugins or ads! If you goof, I’ll help you fix it, but leaving that stuff there is part of the deal.

Unless we agree otherwise, your Freedom Blogs content will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Freedom Blogs is for lawful purposes only, and must comply with the (easy) DreamHost terms of service. Copyrighted materials you aren’t licensed for, pornography, hacking tools, spam, network marketing and ponzi-type schemes are not accepted. I don’t allow reselling. Software, video and audio files must be hosted elsewhere, but you can link to them. Be careful with plugins and your theme’s code to avoid overwhelming the servers. Getting me in trouble is not recommended. Consult with me first if you’re in doubt. If I feel I must disable your site, I will give you the backups so you can recreate it elsewhere.

My support is limited to providing you with a platform to speak to the world, getting you started using it, and fixing things if anything breaks. I will help you install a theme and the plugins you need at start-up time, but customizing and configuring things beyond that is up to you.

Freedom Blogs comes with no warranty of any kind. I assume no liability of any kind. You will hold me and DreamHost harmless for all acts and omissions with respect to the service.

Sound okay?

Write to me and I’ll have your personal Freedom Blog up and running in short order! Just send me an email at mike (at) gogulski (dot) com, and tell me what you’re after!

I also provide similar services if you’re already running self-hosted WordPress, under even better terms, or on an hourly consulting basis. Let’s talk!

Freedom Blogs coming soon

Freedom Blogs is coming soon!

The site will offer a reliable, secure, flexible blog hosting service for liberty-lovers everywhere!