Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP
A static blog engine in PHP
branch: master

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.

Volatile - a small, static, quick blog engine

Volatile : In computer programming, particularly in the C, C++, and C# programming languages, a variable or object declared with the volatile keyword usually has special properties related to optimization and/or threading. Generally speaking, the volatile keyword is intended to prevent the (pseudo)compiler from applying any optimizations on the code that assume values of variables cannot change "on their own." Source : Wikipedia

Volatile is a blog engine built with the power users in mind, althought anyone should be able to use it.

It is built to be quick and small. It's for people who : - don't want to spend their time upgrading WordPress - don't want to take care of dozens of plugins - don't like/use categories or tags - want to focus on writing good stuff - have a small and quick blog engine that you can run anywhere


Here is the main tree of Volatile :

├── config.php
├── _inc
│   ├── from_wp
│   ├── functions.php
│   ├── magpie
│   ├── make_archive.php
│   ├── make_cache.php
│   ├── make_feed.php
│   ├── paginator-digg
│   ├── php-markdown
│   ├── preview.php
│   ├── search.php
│   └── sundown
├── index.php
├── _layouts
│   ├── _css
│   ├── footer.php
│   ├── header.php
│   ├── _images
│   ├── _plugins
│   │   └── live-search-popup
│   └── sidebar.php
├── _posts
│   └──
├── robots.txt
└── update.php


- Apache 2.0 or superior
- PHP 5.2 or superior
- grep (Volatile use it for searching through  your posts)
- That's it.

If you can't have this with your hosting company : change as quickly as possible because they suck.

What's the idea

The idea is to use plain text file and a PHP layout. We create HTML file from theses two worlds.

An html page is created by assembling theses contents: - _layouts/header.php - _posts/ - _layouts/sidebar.php - _layouts/footer.php

Volatile will take care for you of a few things : - create and maintain an up-to-date cache with only html pages - redirect users with cool permalink structure (per year, year/month, year/month/day and title) - create an archive page with all your posts - search thought your posts - create a valid atom rss feed

How to use

Checkout this repo where your want your blog to be on your server :
$ cd /var/www
$ git clone blog
$ cd blog
$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update
$ cd _inc/sundown && make

Then READ the config.php and tune the variable as you want them.

If you already have a wordpress install, take a look at _inc/frow_wp/ there is a script called convert_from_wordpress.php, open it and fullfill the hosts/users/password variables.

This will create a file for each article in your wordpress installation, you can find in the _posts folder. Note the way the file are named, it's always, when you write your new articles, they should have a name like that, where : - Y is the current year - M is the current month - D is the current day - title, well, its the title of your article

You may have noticed the strange extension for you articles : ".md" It's the extension for the markdown format created and defined here

Since your posts are files, you can write them anywhere, where you want with your software of choice. And NO, there will never be any TinyMCE of any kind here nor there will be any admin panel.


The folder layout contains your design, in this folder Volatile NEED to find three files : - header.php - sidebar.php - footer.php If you don't use a footer or a sidebar, just create empty file.

In layout folder, you can do whatever you want. Do as many dynamic thing as you want. In my _layouts, I have an Ajax search, a contact form and a flickr class that I use to get random image from my flick account.

Since the search in handled by Volatile, you'll get only the results, you can obviously style it using your css. As the archive are also generated by the engine, you can style it too within your CSS.


If you want, you may setup some hooks for git, so when you push your posts, your blog is automatically updated.

$ echo 'php update.php' > .git/hooks/post-commit
$ chmod 755 .git/hooks/post-commit

If the comments are something important for you, I really recommend you to use disqus, it will add a little overhead to your HTML but not that much. A built-in support for disqus is implemented. Note : You can import wordpress comment into disqus, look in their pages.


Here is a list of what I thought could be feature "nice to have" : - really maybe : create the sitemap.xml to help google (

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.