I recently decided to get back to blogging. I read many blogs authored by people I respect. I value the perspectives and insights they provide and would like to contribute to the community.
When Medium first came out, I was in love with its design and simplicity. Medium looks beautiful. But as I found myself reading articles I found on Medium through Google searches, Medium prompted me to log in to read them. To me, the internet is about openly available content – not checking oneself into a walled garden.
Dave Winer argues that when “you give in to the default, and just go ahead and post to Medium, you’re stifling the open web. Not giving it a chance to work its magic, which depends on diversity, not monoculture.”
So where to blog? I’ve tried WordPress, Squarespace, Blogger, Write.as, Micro.blog, Svbtle, Silvrback and Ghost. I also considered a static blog written in Hugo but I lack the technical expertise to take that on.
In the end, I chose WordPress. I appreciate that WordPress has great apps for the iPhone, iPad and the Mac. I can also post using third-party apps such as MarsEdit on the Mac and Ulysses on the Mac and iOS.
I debated between WordPress.com and a self-hosted installation and settled on WordPress.com. I understand that WordPress.com affords less flexibility than a self-hosted blog. However, setup and maintenance have been very easy on WordPress.com. I can focus on my writing and let someone else handle the backend at a reasonable cost – in my case $8 a month. It is still early days but so far my fledgling site seems very fast.
I also appreciate the WordPress community. I like exploring other WordPress sites and WordPress makes it easy to find interesting sites. In addition, I look forward to attending my first WordPress meetup.
Squarespace has beautiful themes but the inability to post to Squarespace from third-party apps was a disappointment. The Squarespace iOS apps don’t hold a candle to the WordPress apps.
Blogger is free but has dated themes and seems all but abandoned by Google. Ghost is a very attractive option. The templates are tastefully designed and focus on writing — not e-commerce. Ghost has a beautiful Markdown editor. You can write in Markdown on the left side of the screen and see the rendered text on the right side of the screen. I love this but the WordPress apps and community are in my opinion superior. I am also enjoying Project Gutenberg on WordPress. It looks like the future.