14 votes

What is a good free alternative to Wordpress that requires little coding?

I have basic notions of HTML and CSS, but nearly zero JS knowledge. I can perform simple customizations and I know how to follow instructions.

It is not my intention to create anything from scratch (so the platform should have plenty of free themes), nor do I want to become a webdev or webdesigner. This is not a technical project for me, my main concern is the content.

I currently have a blog that uses Wordpress with a purchased theme. It's good enough, but a bit slow to load. Besides, simpler platforms might be easier to understand and manipulate.

This alternative would also need to be FOSS and easy to self-host.

As a plus, it would be awesome if I could manage the blog/website from within Emacs/Org Mode.

Any ideas?

14 comments

  1. [10]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Have you looked into static site generators? I'd be willing to bet that most of them are easier to host than WordPress, and the more popular generators have tons of free themes available....

    Have you looked into static site generators? I'd be willing to bet that most of them are easier to host than WordPress, and the more popular generators have tons of free themes available.

    Configuring your blog shouldn't be more technically difficult than WordPress, depending on which generator you use.

    Finally, pretty much every generator allows you to write your blog posts using markdown, which you can of course edit using emacs.

    I'm sure some generators also support writing posts directly through org-mode, but if they don't, you could still just write the posts in org and then use pandoc or something else to convert them to markdown or HTML.

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      IMO: yours is the correct answer. To get specific: Hugo is a pretty good option. You can use EasyHugo to post directly to Hugo from emacs. @mrbig

      IMO: yours is the correct answer.

      To get specific: Hugo is a pretty good option.

      You can use EasyHugo to post directly to Hugo from emacs.

      @mrbig

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        ThiccPad
        Link Parent
        Would such options suitable as a personal wiki? ( search function, cross ref. Etc. )

        Would such options suitable as a personal wiki? ( search function, cross ref. Etc. )

        1 vote
        1. aphoenix
          Link Parent
          It wouldn't be a wiki - the definition of a wiki is that it has collaborative editing built into the front facing web site- but you could add search and links are supported out of the box. There's...

          It wouldn't be a wiki - the definition of a wiki is that it has collaborative editing built into the front facing web site- but you could add search and links are supported out of the box.

          There's an article about implementing search and making links is as simple as just putting them in markdown like I've just done here to create a link, though you could omit the protocol and domain:

          [link text](/path/to/page.html)
          

          You can do this in Tildes as well: my user page

          [my user page](/user/aphoenix)
          

          (Forming your links like this would be useful if you intend to use the content on multiple sites with different domains).

          1 vote
    2. [6]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Won't static site generators require me to understand layout and a bunch of other stuff? Cause I can read some CSS, but I dislike it very much, and unless I have a base to work with this won't be...

      Won't static site generators require me to understand layout and a bunch of other stuff? Cause I can read some CSS, but I dislike it very much, and unless I have a base to work with this won't be trivial for me. I also tend to look for templates/themes with good defaults so I only make minimal changes. @aphoenix?

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Some popular CMS (which is what you're looking for is called, among other things) have an ecosystem around them: plugins and – yes – themes. Here is a theme repository for Hugo, the CMS suggested...

        Some popular CMS (which is what you're looking for is called, among other things) have an ecosystem around them: plugins and – yes – themes. Here is a theme repository for Hugo, the CMS suggested by @aphoenix.

        6 votes
        1. [4]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I see. I anticipate I cannot install hugo on hostgator shared hosting (or maybe I can but it's not easy or supported). I already paid for the year. Maybe I could get a refund and use my domain...

          I see. I anticipate I cannot install hugo on hostgator shared hosting (or maybe I can but it's not easy or supported). I already paid for the year. Maybe I could get a refund and use my domain with github pages or whatever?

          I bet I would need to do some under the hood stuff for that to happen, and I'm heavily biased towards the least effort solution lol.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            mjb
            Link Parent
            Static site generators such as Hugo do not typically require any software to be installed on the server, unlike a conventional CMS (e.g., Wordpress). Hugo is installed on your local system, where...

            Static site generators such as Hugo do not typically require any software to be installed on the server, unlike a conventional CMS (e.g., Wordpress). Hugo is installed on your local system, where you use it to generate your website's HTML and associated files (e.g., stylesheets, images, etc.), which can then be uploaded to your hosting account into a directory accessible via its web server.

            9 votes
            1. [2]
              mrbig
              Link Parent
              Awesome!

              Awesome!

              2 votes
              1. ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                You will probably need an FTP client for that. I've been using Cyberduck for all the projects I had to upload files to. It's easy to use, quick, and free. The only "bad" thing about the "free"...

                You will probably need an FTP client for that. I've been using Cyberduck for all the projects I had to upload files to. It's easy to use, quick, and free.

                The only "bad" thing about the "free" part is that you get a popup asking you to donate $10 every time you close the app until you do donate. For the things it allows me to do without a hassle, this is an annoyance I can readily take until I have enough spare cash to throw the developers' way.

                4 votes
  2. tlalexander
    Link
    I highly recommend Ghost! https://ghost.org/ My own website is ghost, though I believe they released a new version and I am behind: http://tlalexander.com

    I highly recommend Ghost!

    https://ghost.org/

    My own website is ghost, though I believe they released a new version and I am behind:
    http://tlalexander.com

    4 votes
  3. krg
    Link
    You might find Forestry.io useful.

    You might find Forestry.io useful.

    2 votes
  4. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    Assuming you don't have a moral objection, why not give up the self-hosted and FOSS requirements and just use Blogger? It's been forever since I used it, but last time I checked they have a bunch...

    Assuming you don't have a moral objection, why not give up the self-hosted and FOSS requirements and just use Blogger? It's been forever since I used it, but last time I checked they have a bunch of themes you can choose from and they won't insert any ads or anything you don't want in your site.

    2 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      My reasons are not ethical, I just want to adopt a platform in which I can choose to have more control in the future. I do not intend to make anything complicated right now, but that may change.

      My reasons are not ethical, I just want to adopt a platform in which I can choose to have more control in the future.

      I do not intend to make anything complicated right now, but that may change.

      3 votes