Bloggers January 26, 2020

Blogging solution?

dru_riley

Hey IH 👋

I'm looking for a place to host a blog for strongstack.io

It would ideally have:

  • Custom domain support
  • Simple, Beautiful design
  • Quick to start
  • A Rich Editor (More than markdown support)

Considered:

  • Medium but they removed custom domain support
  • My personal blog is WordPress and I would like to avoid setup hassle, if possible

The best option seems like Ghost.

Are there any other options?

  1. 5

    We just added blogs to https://versoly.com/

    • Comes with custom domain
    • https://blog-test.versoly.com/blog, still working on getting an example with a lot of content :)
    • Can start a blog in under 2 minutes and have it published
    • Has a rich editor that can be customised if you need any custom features.

    Versoly blogs allow you to collect emails easily as well, even before you have an email marketing tool.

    You want your blog on the same domain as your marketing site for SEO benefits.

    We plan on adding more features for SaaS companies that should save you time and money. It will also help make you more money with huge SEO benefits.

    1. 3

      I have to say I’m really impressed by your work.

      I always see you here talking about your product and adding new features! 👍

      1. 1

        Thanks!

        It is easy to get complacent and stop.

        I see a lot of IHs come on here and share their project a lot for a week or two and then disappear.

    2. 2

      Nice! Thanks for the heads up Volkan. I like that theme.

    3. 1

      Recognizable and passionate work you're adding into Versoly, clear to see you are not building a software for the sake of building a software.

      How is blog helping Versoly in the long term?

  2. 4

    Ghost+++++++ can't say enough about it.

    I use render.com to self-host two ghost blogs.

    1. 2

      😮 Just checked out render.com and I have so many ideas. And they handle SSL for you. ++

      Thanks Travis!

    2. 1

      In which render tier do you have those 2 blogs ?

      1. 1

        Starter plan with one persistent disk.

    3. 1

      I’ve always loved that text effect seen on render.com front page, where it deletes the last word in the “hero” section and replaces it with a few others in a loop. Any idea what people call this, so I can google search it and find some JavaScript scripts that I can use for my own project(s)?

      1. 1

        Try searching typewriter effect or animated text. I recently wondered the same thing.

        Here is a post of snippets on how it's done: https://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/typewriter-effect/

  3. 3

    If you prefer indie product, I can't recommend landen.co by @Felixg enough! It's easy (and quick) to start, with the details that you said above and beyond.

    Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever, just love the product!

    1. 1

      Hey Wilbert. Funny enough, I use Landen. It's great for landing pages. Not so much for blogs. I spun up a blog last night to test it out but it's missing a lot of features.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the mention @wilbertliu! @dru_riley you're right about that. The blog system is very basic right now with close to no customization. I'm planning to make it's design as customizable as all other pages and add some other standard features. I don't have a timeframe on that yet tho so I'd recommend you try something else in the meantime 👍🏻

  4. 3

    I went with a self hosted Ghost installation on Digital Ocean[kwiromeo.com]. I followed @stephsmith post [https://blog.stephsmith.io/setting-up-blog-with-ghost-and-digital-ocean-droplet/] to do it. The one drawback I found to Ghost is the lack of comment, which may or may not matter to you. Also, not a lot of theming options. Wordpress has both of those covered out of the box.

    1. 2

      I've had such a good experience with Ghost! You can add comments easily by adding the Disqus script to your footer in the code injection section!

      Ghost also has more themes available in their marketplace and you can hire a developer if wanted for a custom solution.

      1. 1

        Didn't realize so many people used Ghost. I'll try it out today. Thanks!

    2. 1

      Your personal site is fast. And great points. I didn't place enough weight on theme options. I have a layout in mind and it's already hard to find WP themes for it. This would probably be near impossible in Ghost.

      1. 3

        Ghost is great. Check Ghostinspire.com

        webflow too.

        1. 1

          Thanks! Just checked out Ghostinspire.com. Especially like the design of localcoinswap. Taking some shots for inspiration on whatever design I decide.

      2. 1

        Ghost has additional theme options available here!

        https://marketplace.ghost.org/?lmref=vxYaKQ

  5. 2

    Depending on what you want to do, Squarespace can be a solid option for more of an expanded site.

    If you're looking for easy setup and flexibility, Tumblr is still a go-to. I'm also impressed with Notion and the public share capability. It's unconventional, but a cool functionality for fast standup.

    1. 1

      You're right about Tumblr. Perhaps we shouldn't write it off. And I considered Notion. Scrappy but thought it might work. Realized it was too scrappy after some research.

      This guy used it well though 👇

      https://myfirstmillionpodcast.com/My-First-Million-bf3eb1b80cda4ba1be53aa8babc3cfcb

  6. 2

    if you don't mind paying I love StoryChief - https://storychief.io/

    It helps with Marketing and SEO for writing

    1. 1

      Haven't heard of them before now. Seems like they do a lot. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 2

    I use a simple Ghost install on Digital Ocean ($5/month). Super easy to set up, and Ghost is hard to beat for blogging.
    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks Dan. Hearing a lot of good stuff about Ghost. Going to spin it up on render.com today. 🤞 We'll see how it goes

      1. 1

        Let us know how it Went. Perhaps do blog post about experience. I'm very interested 😁

    2. 1

      What about the SEO benefits of having it on the same domain as your marketing site?

  8. 2

    Using webflow rn for thegoodstartup.com! It's not perfect (mostly because I don't know how to customize everything to my exact liking), but I do like it better than other platforms I've used so far!

    1. 2

      It never occurred to me to check out webflow. This is exactly why I asked IH. Thanks for sharing!

  9. 2

    WordPress rocks. What set-up hassle are you finding?

    1. 1

      All in all, it will probably take less than 2 hours of focused attention. It's not bad.

    2. 1

      Agreed. WP is nice. Hassles?

      Installation, configuration, SSL and re-installing plugins that I've come to depend on.

      And, personal neurosis, but something feels weird about juggling two instances of WordPress.

      1. 2

        You could always switch to multi-site and avoid the juggling, installation, re-installing plugins side!
        https://www.wpexplorer.com/quick-guide-wordpress-multisite-installation/

        1. 1

          Wizardry. Didn't know this was a thing.

          1. 2

            It is handy. I have a few client sites on a multisite install. All on their own domains and own user permissions but share plugins, WP core, parent themes if you want, etc. You can of course fine grain control you have just as much control over them individually so they don't all have to have the same resources at all.

            Give me a shout if I can help with anything!

            1. 1

              Thanks Adam. And that sounds like a great way to keep plugins, WP version and other things in step.

  10. 2

    We're launching our blog this week. It's part of our main stack, so we opted for Ghost (self-hosted in the 1Brand VPC) and wired-up to our Nextjs/React app. The benefit I see is that Ghost can be the CMS for our entire marketing (unauthenticated) experience, letting us move more nimbly, and keeping our stack simple. Integration has been pretty easy.

    1. 1

      Nice. Thanks for sharing your experience! It never occurred to me to try self-hosting Ghost. Might give that a try next time I'm considering spinning up a WordPress instance.

  11. 1

    Same issue. I agree what you talked about tumblr. I'm looking to relaunch the site as a blog here https://blendinggadgets.com/

  12. 1

    I have been looking to relaunch my personal site as a blog recently and I am divided between something like Ghost or just doing a markdown based flat file static site.

    I am curious to hear how your experience with Ghost and Render goes.

    The biggest thing for me is just a simple clean design. I don’t want to have to fiddle with theming for weeks.

  13. 1

    Honestly, I would probably stick to WP if you don't want hassle. Although it does take a good afternoon of configuring in order to get a "good" WP installation (security, SSL, compression, etc) I have found that it is much more extensible and easily customizable (and free).

    I have found that available themes & extensions for most other platforms are very lacking. It may take a bit of searching, but I'd just stick with WP.

    I think Statamic may be close to what you're looking for. It costs, but it's very simple and very cleanly designed.

  14. 1

    Check out Proseful, also made by another Indie Hacker!

    1. 1

      Damn! Just started a Jekyll site a couple of days ago. Would have used proseful if I had known about it 🤷. Looks perfect.

    2. 1

      Thanks Andrea. Proseful looks promising. It's a shame there's a discovery problem around products like Bloggi and Proseful. High-quality. Just hard to find.

  15. 1

    I think you might want to check out Bloggi which is made by a fellow indie hacker.
    https://www.indiehackers.com/product/bloggi/

    1. 2

      Thanks for the recommendation!

      Just signed up for the trial and poked around. Simple and clean but it only supports markdown. I used Jekyll for a few years. Don't want to go back to markdown-only writing.

      1. 2

        Ahh bummer, was just about to plug Jekyll :)

        1. 1

          :) Yeah man. It's great for text posts. Just a little too much friction, imo, once you start to play with formats and data tables. Jekyll can do everything... with some elbow grease lol.

          1. 2

            Ha, yeah. I love Jekyll because of that. I can make it do whatever I want... But the reason I switched to it in the first place was to STOP tinkering. I switched a way from a custom solution so I could stop tweaking and start writing... but a tinkerer always tinkers. Oh the blessing and the curse of being able to code :)

      2. 2

        In that case you can try and give the almighty Blogger/Blogspot from Google a look, it can seem old and not as popular compared to WordPress but it checks the points you want, although their rich editor isn't the greatest but for simple blogging it can do well and above all that, it is FREE ^^.
        I'm somewhat expert in the platform as I do theme development so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

        P.S: This is how the editor looks: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-66HrvNLsYgk/Xi4VVo4nJiI/AAAAAAAAAkA/pYRZRYGbAvMbMOg0kAu1OenjBvu8pUolwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Blogger%2BEditor.PNG

        1. 1

          Good point. Starting to realize that we all want 'our' versions of simple. My version includes a rich text editor lol.

          I'll probably end up installing WordPress again 🥴

  16. 0

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