21 votes

Blogging recommendations?

Hi,
I was thinking of starting a blog, but I was wondering, what's a good (free) platform to use?

26 comments

  1. [4]
    idiotheart
    Link
    BEARBLOG!!! I really like bearblog.dev!! Big recommend. It's super lightweight and keeps it all about the writing. It has a very endearing small internet vibe about it. I like it's customization...

    BEARBLOG!!!

    I really like bearblog.dev!! Big recommend. It's super lightweight and keeps it all about the writing. It has a very endearing small internet vibe about it. I like it's customization options personally because of it's limited options. Keeps me from getting bogged down in playing with customization all day. They have a pool of styles for you to choose from, and you can play with the CSS style sheets if you really want. It's free but has a very affordable paid option that opens up stuff like using your own domain. It also has a cute Discover page where you can see what others are writing about on bearblog.

    15 votes
    1. [3]
      maevens
      Link Parent
      If I struggle to figure out how to host via GitHub I'll definitely check this out! Thank you!

      If I struggle to figure out how to host via GitHub I'll definitely check this out! Thank you!

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        CunningFatalist
        Link Parent
        Did you try following the tiny tutorial on their landing page? It's pretty short, maybe give it a go. Link: https://pages.github.com/

        Did you try following the tiny tutorial on their landing page? It's pretty short, maybe give it a go. Link: https://pages.github.com/

  2. [12]
    gpl
    Link
    You can host pretty painlessly and for free on github using a static site generator. This gives you a bit more control compared to using a platform like WordPress, at cost of a little more effort.

    You can host pretty painlessly and for free on github using a static site generator. This gives you a bit more control compared to using a platform like WordPress, at cost of a little more effort.

    12 votes
    1. [7]
      0d_billie
      Link Parent
      I host my blog using Jekyll on GitHub Pages. It's dead easy, although I think that's because I have experience with writing code and using git. If you're after something without any kind of...

      I host my blog using Jekyll on GitHub Pages. It's dead easy, although I think that's because I have experience with writing code and using git. If you're after something without any kind of learning overhead, and aren't familiar with markdown and/or GitHub, this isn't the one.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        maevens
        Link Parent
        I haven't heard of Jekyll, but I will look into it, thank you! I'm still new to coding so it might be a bit tricky for me, but once I familiarize myself with markdown and/or GitHub is it alright...

        I haven't heard of Jekyll, but I will look into it, thank you!
        I'm still new to coding so it might be a bit tricky for me, but once I familiarize myself with markdown and/or GitHub is it alright if I reach out to get more information about Jekyll/ask questions?

        5 votes
        1. Pistos
          Link Parent
          You don't need to be a full-fledged programmer to use a static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo. Most of the time and effort cost is up front, and after that you are literally just editing text...

          You don't need to be a full-fledged programmer to use a static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo. Most of the time and effort cost is up front, and after that you are literally just editing text files in Markdown for your content. You could probably just tap a tech friend to do that initial setup for you, and then take the reins from there.

          1 vote
        2. tomf
          Link Parent
          I really like github pages. One thing that freaked me out at first is the delay from saving to having it actually published. Its only half a minute (or less), but if you're unaware of this, it...

          I really like github pages. One thing that freaked me out at first is the delay from saving to having it actually published. Its only half a minute (or less), but if you're unaware of this, it feels like you did something wrong somehow.

          Its a great choice, though. The overall setup is a breeze and you don't have to really worry about bloated wordpress or self-hosting.

      2. [2]
        eggpl4nt
        Link Parent
        I'm not OP, but I am experienced in markdown and GitHub and am interested in this Jekyll setup with GitHub pages. Would you be willing to share more about how it works or how it's set up?

        I'm not OP, but I am experienced in markdown and GitHub and am interested in this Jekyll setup with GitHub pages. Would you be willing to share more about how it works or how it's set up?

        1 vote
        1. 0d_billie
          Link Parent
          Certainly! Feel free to drop me a DM and I can give you an overview :)

          Certainly! Feel free to drop me a DM and I can give you an overview :)

          1 vote
    2. [3]
      maevens
      Link Parent
      Awesome thank you! I've actually been learning to code so this is perfect! It never crossed my mind to start a blog via GitHub. Do you have any tips/pointers for getting my blog up and running...

      Awesome thank you! I've actually been learning to code so this is perfect! It never crossed my mind to start a blog via GitHub.
      Do you have any tips/pointers for getting my blog up and running (I'm still relatively new to coding) or direct me somewhere that could answer any questions I have?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        gpl
        Link Parent
        Glad my suggestion was useful! This looks like a very comprehensive guide to everything you might want to know, although I can't vouch for it personally simply because I haven't read it in detail....

        Glad my suggestion was useful! This looks like a very comprehensive guide to everything you might want to know, although I can't vouch for it personally simply because I haven't read it in detail. Github has an official doc page too that might be useful. In general just googling "Github pages with jekyll" will bring up a lot of resources.

        Have you used Github before? The way this will work is that essentially you will have a repository on your local machine containing markdown and theme files for your website. To create a new page, you'll just create a new markdown page, fill it with what you want, and run jekyll which will take that markdown and build HTML pages according to the theme you're using. Then when you're satisfied you push your changes to your Github repo and it will appear on the web! Obviously my few sentence description here is not at all detailed to get you going — check out the above links for that. Just wanted to provide a bit of a primer to orient you.

        1. maevens
          Link Parent
          Thank you, I'll check those guides out! I've heard of GitHub, but I haven't gotten a chance to click around and actually use it. I'm currently working through the Full Stack Engineer path on...

          Thank you, I'll check those guides out!

          I've heard of GitHub, but I haven't gotten a chance to click around and actually use it. I'm currently working through the Full Stack Engineer path on Codecademy and am at the section about 'Developing Websites Locally' and 'Deploying Websites' so I think most of what you talked about will make more sense once I get through that, but I think I get the gist of what you're saying.

    3. Mendanbar
      Link Parent
      I set mine up in similar fashion thanks to this thread on tildes, and I've been pretty happy with it. I am a techie by profession and I did have to flex some of those skills to get it up and...

      I set mine up in similar fashion thanks to this thread on tildes, and I've been pretty happy with it. I am a techie by profession and I did have to flex some of those skills to get it up and running, but it's now pretty easy to just edit markdown to publish.

      1 vote
  3. [2]
    phlyingpenguin
    Link
    Free: Best is probably github Cheap as heck: omg.lol for $20/yr with a ton of other useful services Either way: Do not use any service without also getting a domain. They're cheap, and they'll...

    Free: Best is probably github
    Cheap as heck: omg.lol for $20/yr with a ton of other useful services

    Either way: Do not use any service without also getting a domain. They're cheap, and they'll future-proof your online life.

    12 votes
    1. maevens
      Link Parent
      Noted, thank you! I'll look more into hosting using GitHub.

      Noted, thank you! I'll look more into hosting using GitHub.

  4. shrike
    Link
    The first thing you need to do is to write 5-6 blog posts, then you can start bikeshedding about the blogging platform :) Github and Notion both allow you to put stuff on the internet completely...

    The first thing you need to do is to write 5-6 blog posts, then you can start bikeshedding about the blogging platform :)

    Github and Notion both allow you to put stuff on the internet completely free.

    And always remember to follow POSSE (Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere). Always keep whatever you produce on a platform you control a 100%.

    8 votes
  5. [2]
    ignorabimus
    (edited )
    Link
    If you want a low-effort "just write and publish" option WordPress is a good choice.

    If you want a low-effort "just write and publish" option WordPress is a good choice.

    4 votes
    1. supported
      Link Parent
      wordpress.com just randomly remove my blog one day and would never add it back. they removed it for content. (content was a blog that was very critical of and impolite to the bible)

      wordpress.com just randomly remove my blog one day and would never add it back. they removed it for content.

      (content was a blog that was very critical of and impolite to the bible)

      6 votes
  6. saturnV
    Link
    One unconvential method which I have seen some use is google docs (using option file->share->publish to web). I have also heard good things about writefreely, but it is paid.

    One unconvential method which I have seen some use is google docs (using option file->share->publish to web). I have also heard good things about writefreely, but it is paid.

    2 votes
  7. fxgn
    Link
    +1 for static site generators on a free static hosting like GitHub Pages or Netlify. I don't have any experience with Jekyll, but I have used Hugo and it's really great. You can just use a...

    +1 for static site generators on a free static hosting like GitHub Pages or Netlify. I don't have any experience with Jekyll, but I have used Hugo and it's really great. You can just use a pre-made theme and write your posts in simple Markdown files, or you can also customize every part of your website because under the hood it just uses Go HTML templates with a bunch of custom logic.

    2 votes
  8. Froswald
    Link
    The primary motivator in my blog is me writing what I want to blather about, regardless of reader interest or growing my presence. To that end I write my blog on my personal website (which uses...

    The primary motivator in my blog is me writing what I want to blather about, regardless of reader interest or growing my presence. To that end I write my blog on my personal website (which uses WordPress as the CMS) that I currently buy hosting for, but will eventually self-host. If you want the possibility of people stumbling across the blog to be greater than 0.1%, then I'd go with GitHub as people have recommended, or if you want a quick and easy platform to experiment with, Medium.com. It's easier to get people checking out your posts on Medium, but it's definitely not meant to be anyone's primary web presence (IMO).

    1 vote
  9. CunningFatalist
    Link
    Static site generators like Hugo or Gridsome are a good idea. I use Nuxt, but just for fun and because I wanted to try it out. It's good, but it has too much power for a simple blog I think. You...

    Static site generators like Hugo or Gridsome are a good idea. I use Nuxt, but just for fun and because I wanted to try it out. It's good, but it has too much power for a simple blog I think. You can painlessly host with either GitHub pages or Vercel. I use the latter option, and I like it.

  10. throwawaytime
    (edited )
    Link
    I see several recommendations for static site generators, but I'm a non technical user and frankly lack the time, need, or inclination to become a technical user. For my blog, I do not wish to...

    I see several recommendations for static site generators, but I'm a non technical user and frankly lack the time, need, or inclination to become a technical user.

    For my blog, I do not wish to deal directly with Git or the command line on a day to day basis, nor do I wish to setup Git on several machines I utilize (as well as as any new devices I may eventually add).

    However, because static site have plenty of advantages, I would like to ask, would it be at all possible for me to setup a Hugo or Jekyll blog which I can manage and post from an user friendly platform similar to Wordpress and other blogging services? Can it be web based so I can access it from anywhere? If so, where can I find a complete manual to achieve that from scratch?

    I ask for a complete manual because I find it very confusing to follow multiple (scattered...) documentation sources to a single goal.

    I don't mind the involved initial setup, but maintaining several local Gits and manipulating the command line on a regular basis is not for me. So if I can't avoid that with Hugo or Jekyll, I'd rather use a paid service.