Tagged with: ‘blogging’

Posts: 1

Afrolive

I’ve been planning a rebuild of my blog for a while now.

If I’ve learned one thing from product development, it’s know what problem you’re trying to solve.

So I sat down and actually thought about my goal: To write more frequently.

I wanted to worry less about maintaining a server, designing pixel-perfect user interfaces, performing backups and fiddly upgrade paths.

My previous blog was held together by an outdated version of Perch and a whole bunch of duct tape that was wearing thin.

I’ve Been Around the Block

  • I tried SquareSpace but didn’t like that I couldn’t setup a local dev environment to tinker with the templates.
  • I didn’t fancy Medium or Svbtle as I’m still a bit unsure of their business models. And, as much as I wanted a blog to do the heavy lifting for me, I still wanted to be able to play around with the templates’ markup and style -- for this parallel universe where I lots have spare time.
  • I never really got into the Wordpress theme engine and I hate writing php in views. I prefer a model–view–controller architecture that separates concerns.
  • I thought I might use Craft. We use this at Fruitful and it’s a brilliantly comprehensive CMS. I thought I could tinker around at the weekends with my personal site, and that might help me day-to-day with Fruitful’s marketing website. I thought all of this and completely lost sight of my goal.
  • I tried Ghost and I liked it.

Why Ghost?

  • The experience of writing and publishing posts is very good. Clearly the team has put a lot of thought into this.
  • I like the templating engine. It’s Handlebars which keeps the markup in dynamic views readable and declarative.
  • It’s Markdown based.
  • They offer a hosted solutions for just $10 per month. Part of this contribution goes to supporting the continued development and support of Ghost. They dub it sustainable open source and although there’s been a bunch of criticisms of this movement, I feel that it’s a practical way to incentivise ongoing development -- but that’s a topic for another post. Bearing in mind my original goal, I went for this option.
  • It’s open source, so if I ever wanted to spin the site up on VM of my own, I’d be able to.
  • It has an active community behind it and it’s a culture seems to care about design and user experience.
  • The documentation is solid.
  • It’s written in Node.js and it’s super fast.

So now that this blog is back on its feet again (not to mention its new identity), I’m hoping I’ll get into the rhythm of writing more frequently.