I’m building a new blogging platform
I had a small idea when I started to build this blog.
I built it using Jekyll—a static site generator. I write my posts in iA Writer, using Markdown for formatting. Then Jekyll takes care of converting them into HTML pages, which I push to the site’s GitHub repository, which is then served to this domain by GitHub Pages. It’s a relatively simple process—at least for people who know how to make websites. There are many more modern and similar solutions too. But what options do people who-do-not-make-websites-for-a-living have? Well, a lot, I know. But bear with me for a bit.
There’s WordPress. It powers 30% of the internet. It’s powerful and flexible. You can do a lot with it. But as a side-effect of that, it’s a bit bloated. It’s packed with features that people who just want to put their writing on the internet don’t need. It can be confusing for people who are not tech-savvy.
There’s Medium. It’s perfect for people who just want to put their writing on the internet. It’s beautifully simple. But it’s too restrictive. You can’t publish on your own domain and you have few customization options. You’re writing on someone else’s terms. And they still don’t have a profitable business model so you can’t know how long your writing is going to remain online.
There’s Ghost, which is like a simpler version of WordPress, but still a bit complicated. And too expensive. There’s Squarespace. It’s nice but it’s more focused on building general websites and not so much on the writing part. Same with other website builders.
There are many other solutions but similar things can be said of them.
This got me thinking. There could be a new blogging platform that sits somewhere in between. Where you can write in Markdown, with an experience as simple as using iA Writer. With a publishing and a reading experience as simple as using Medium. And with the flexibility and power of Wordpress. Where you can publish your writing on your own domain—and have your own little corner of the internet where you can share your ideas in whatever way you want. Where you can integrate your favorite newsletter software and own your relationship with your readers. Where you’re not tied to the platform and can download your content at any time. And where what you publish can stay online forever, if you want to, since you would be paying for a service to a profitable company that does not depend on venture capital to survive.
I’m calling it Bloggi.
I’m targeting to launch a very minimal version in the next few weeks. It will, at least, allow you to blog on your own domain with a simple, content-focused theme. If there’s enough interest—and that’s a big if—I’ll add more customization options (for layout, typography and color schemes, for example), static pages, as well as common blogging features like tags and multiple authors. Later, I’ll add more advanced features, like full HTML and CSS customization (which is my personal goal so it can power this very blog with its custom design) and maybe an API for it to work as a headless-CMS.
You can subscribe to be notified when it launches at bloggi.co.