May 16, 2018

Ask IH: What platform do you use for your blog?

I'm very new to blogging however I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of traffic and engagement it seems to bring in. I want to invest more into this if I can but first I want to get the basics right.

What is everyone using to host their blog? Medium? Ghost? Something else?

Also slightly related: do you post in multiple place?


  1. 9

    Github Pages for hosting, Jekyll for static site generating, Forestry for CMS, Cloudflare for SSL.

    Pricetag: $0

    1. 1

      Didn't know about Forestry. Thanks for the tip!

    2. 1

      [deleted since the parent now mentions Cloudflare]

      1. 1

        Cloudflare protects you from going down during high bandwidth situations.

  2. 7

    Wordpress. I host it myself. A blog is far to important to hand over to a third party, especially one that hosts it on their own domain, thus stealing precious SEO from your site.

  3. 6

    I use self-hosted WordPress. In my opinion, it is still the easiest route get the blog up and running. Especially if you are a tech-savvy user you should have no problem using Wordpress.

    The vast amount of plugins make it easy to incorporate every function functionality you need.

  4. 4

    Run from medium as your primary publishing platform. They can, they will, and they have pulled the rug out from under many publishers.

    That being said, you can republish there. Definitely publish in many places. As many as you can find actually. Just lead everyone back to your site with something like a content upgrade or relevant links. Make sure you add the cannonical tag as well.

    Finally, I chose Wordpress for our blog with a few customizations.

    1. 2

      Hey thanks so much for the feedback! Would you mind elaborating on:

      Make sure you add the cannonical tag as well.

      I'm new to this whole blogging/SEO things and don't know exactly what you mean.

      1. 2

        You add a tag to each place you publish it, which sets the "master" url as your original blog, so that Google and other search engines are kept aware of which version of the article is the original. Without doing this, you risk Google bots indexing Medium or something first, and thinking that's the original article, and that the one posted on your blog is the duplicate, thus ranking it lower in search engines.

  5. 3

    Hugo on Netlify

    1. 1

      +1 !

    2. 1
  6. 2

    WordPress

  7. 2

    For sites that are primarily content based I use WordPress. It gives me everything I need, and being a dev I can customize whatever I like.

    For our applications I use a custom Laravel blog package that we developed. This gives me the ability to easily drop it into the application and not have to worry about setting up some other blogging service. Our blogs are usually pretty simple, so we only need a small core set of features and can add more if we see fit.

  8. 2

    Self-hosted WordPress with a few plugins.

  9. 2

    Just relaunched my site using Wordpress (after years with Jekyll) and I really like it so far. My hosting is through Flywheel and I used a plugin called BeaverBuilder to design my theme. As a designer who's used Jekyll and had to homespin every inch of my site, this has been such a different experience and allowed me to focus on more of what matters and iterate quickly. Strongly recommended! http://folyo.me

  10. 2

    Wordpress on regular web hosting (Funio).

  11. 2

    I'm using GatsbyJS hosted on Netlify, with the open source Netlify CMS.

    https://github.com/AustinGreen/gatsby-starter-netlify-cms

  12. 2

    Self hosted Ghost. Costs $15 / mo on AWS for a t2.small and you can tweak your server configs to get the SEO benefits of serving your blog from a sudirectory.

    1. 3

      Same here. Except for AWS, I use DigitalOcean. Up and running with this docker image (https://hub.docker.com/_/ghost/) is extremely simple and can be done in a few minutes.

      1. 2

        @dhruvg @pkrupar Is your companies site hosted on DigitalOcean? Were you able to get ghost working on a subdirectory (e.g. www.youcompany.com/blog)?

        1. 2

          Yes to both. It was just a bit tricky to set it up if I remember correctly. Well, for me it was.

        2. 1

          No, I use AWS. Yes to the second question.

    2. 1

      Nice! Did you ever consider using Digital Ocean? They have the nice 1-click install for Ghost

      1. 1

        Did not. I use AWS for everything, but I am sure DO is great, too.

  13. 2

    I'm using Ghost right now at https://blog.witsi.co. I like it a lot. I also have blogs hosted on Wordpress, which works...fine.

    And yes, I do post multiple places. Medium is more of a distribution network.

    1. 1

      Do you use Ghost Pro or host it somewhere else? I started down the path of doing this, but got conflicting answers on whether or not I could get the traffic running thru my domain.

      1. 2

        I'm using Ghost Pro. The set up was pretty simple through DNS settings. You just need a CNAME to the Ghost URL.

  14. 2

    I'm building mine on Craft CMS, which allows scale, customization and most of all - is very performant. It's much more simple than Wordpress in terms of UI, but requires web development skills to actually get going.

    I recommend if you want to get started and not worry about code to either use Ghost, or just Medium. Set and forget, let them worry about it, and you can focus on writing.

    1. 1

      Amen to that last sentence. Ghost now has AMP, social sharing features, etc. Definitely would be nice to not have to worry about it all and just write.

  15. 1

    I write on GoNevis.com blogging platform.

    I have developed the whole platform that covers almost all of my blogging and publishing requirements.

  16. 1

    Self hosted WordPress.

    I shared my posts at Medium, LinkedIn and some other places depending on nature of the content. All external submissions have a link back to the source (at my blog).

  17. 1

    ghost. haven't used it as much as i should. but i'm hoping paying for hosting will be the kick i need

  18. 1

    Back in 2000 I was using static html. I eventually switched to Wordpress. Over the last few months I migrated everything to a static site driven by Hugo.

    I did post links in multiple places like reddit and Twitter and this would get huge bumps in traffic.

    For medium I would post an excerpt and provide a link to full blog post

  19. 1

    I am considering using Discourse, I would love thoughts on that!

    I see Codinghorror's blog mentions "Proudly published with Ghost"

    1. 2

      I setup a discourse forum recently. I wanted to customize the landing page of it, but its a little challenging

  20. 1

    A few month ago I was using webflow but have taken that site down as I’m rebuilding it. Webflow isn’t mature enough to be a blog site and development is really awkward.

    I’ve taken a different approach to my new blog stack. I’m using Wordpress as my admin panel to write content and I’m utilizing their rest api that will serve content to my NodeJS & React site.

    It’s a bit more manual work but I have total control of the features, seo, and performance.

    So far I’ve been loving it!

    P.S. I’m a developer 😋

  21. 1

    netlify & hugo

  22. 1

    I have two blogs, one is built with Hugo (static files solution) and the other one is built with Kirby (flat file CMS)

  23. 1

    Just a cheap shout-out. Anyone who want's to share their blog articles to get more exposure can do so on Readory.com ! ** founder of Readory

    1. 1

      How does the platform work? Very interested.

      1. 1

        Sorry for the late reply -- basically you share articles/write articles on the platform if other users upvote it similar to reddit it can be trending. It's a platform for readers and writers :)

        1. 1

          OK thanks I will be taking advantage of this when I release my blog shortly.

  24. 1

    I have a static website, I use :

    • Jekyll with a custom theme for website generation

    • Github for hosting the code + versioning

    • Hosted on custom VM with Nginx (I found that Github Pages configuration is not that good for SEO, you can't do what you want like 301, you have duplicate pages)

    • Cloudflare in front of it for CDN + caching + SSL

    Website is available here => https://gladysproject.com

  25. 1

    As a developer I like medium and dev.to

  26. 1

    I'm pretty basic with Github Pages and Jekyll right now. I'm considering switching to Ghost in the near future...but it's tough to beat free. I would say it requires some coding experience to get setup though.

  27. 1

    I am using Pagekit (Open source)

    https://pagekit.com/

  28. 1

    I am using https://hexo.io/ for my blog https://www.bpaulino.com.br/

    It is pretty solid. Super simple to setup and to customise. You can basically write all your posts in Markdown and hexo will generate the HTML for you.

    I host it using GitHub Pages. For comment support I am using Disqus.

  29. 1

    https://pawelurbanek.com/best-blogging-tools there is a blog post about just that.

    I would discourage you to go for Medium btw. https://pawelurbanek.com/medium-blogging-platform-seo

  30. 1

    I've created my own solution for some friends who wanted a simple blogging platform. And I'm hosting it for them, too. It's similar to Ghost, built on Ruby on Rails and it supports things like comments or super-simple email campaigns with some basic stats.

    1. 1

      Could you share more please? I was planning on researching how to create a blog in rails this evening

      1. 1

        Sure. What would you like to know?

  31. 0

    I wrote a big blog post covering many options last year, but here are the highlights:

    • Jekyll - Great if you're tech savvy because it's free (to use and host), super-flexible, and almost infinitely fast. Lots of free themes, but functionality is a bit limited (unless you're a developer). I host most of my landing pages and blogs on Jekyll/Github pages.

    • Medium - If you don't care whether you own the content or not, go for Medium. You can get some organic traffic sent your way through their platform, but you also have very limited avenues to capture subscribers.

    • Linkedin Publisher - Similar advantages and disadvantages to Medium, but if you've already got a big LI network, this can expand your reach.

    • Wordpress - Tried and true, lots of people use it and love it. Wordpress.com has somewhat limited functionality (and you may need to pay to get the features you want), and Wordpress.org is technically a little more challenging (it's probably the most hacked platform around). Tons of free plugins are available, plus you can hack almost anything about it if you're a PHP dev.

    • Squarespace - If you're not technical but you want to make sure your content shows up on your domain (and you get the SEO credit for it) use Squarespace. Costs a few bucks per month, but it's also a great landing page tool, email collector, and can even do some e-commerce.

  32. 0

    First, self-host. Don't write for others, don't be at the mercy of others, control your own content!

    I would suggest a statically generated site, without the complications and security problems that something like WordPress brings.