Developers March 29, 2020

What's the simplest way to host a personal blog?

viggy28

My father wants to start writing blogs. I am wondering what is the simplest way to get up and running. I hear Wix, foursquare, etc. (Honestly, don't want to be paying a lot, since it's going to be a personal blog where we don't expect a lot of visitors)

The key is simplicity and the cost.

  1. 2

    I guess Medium would work for this although I will personally not write on Medium any more (paywalls, etc.). Second option is hosted WordPress (wordpress.com), but it's not gonna be free.

    For the best free option I recommend looking into static site generator such as Jekyll and Netlify for hosting.

  2. 2

    I use Jekyll for GitHub pages. There are tons of templates, you upload it to GitHub and everything is set up.

  3. 2

    Thanks for your suggestions folks.

    Medium is certainly good, but I think having a custom domain makes it more legit :) (at least he feels so :) )

    Will give it a try with Ghost and withknown.

    1. 1

      Ghost hosting on Digitalocean for $10 is a good deal I would think.

  4. 2

    Free option without custom domain: I would recommend https://write.as
    With a custom domain: For not tech savvy or people who just want stuff that work, I would recommend Known (https://withknown.com/). Personally I use this for my company blog with both me (the tech dude and founder) and the copywriter (a not too tech savvy 50 something guy) happy.

  5. 2

    If you don't care about custom domain, go with free wordpress or free medium.com account. Or you can also go with super simple blogging platform https://write.as

  6. 2

    Ghost. It's beautiful and it's opensource, you can host it yourself anywhere. Digital Ocean has an option for quick deployment of it. You can buy 5$/month VM form them and deploy it there - cheapest option you can get.

    1. 1

      I'm loving Ghost atm too. I just use their hosted version, which is more expensive, but it saves me time that I have very little of.

      1. 2

        I dunno, I spent maybe couple of hours setting this up myself, and now I'm paying 5$ for 3 independent blogs hosted from single VM, which take exactly zero time to manage.

  7. 1

    Definitely try Ghost on DigitalOcean. A few clicks to set up and it only costs $5/month per "server" (you can host multiple Ghost sites together).

    Ghost is slowly becoming the standard for blogs.

  8. 1

    You could try using Jekyll (a static site generator), and use GitHub pages for the hosting. GitHub pages is free, so the only thing you need to pay for is the domain name. No server maintenance necessary.

    (Tip: your father might want to make his GitHub repository private instead of public, so remember to set the appropriate option when creating the GitHub repository.)

    If you need to have more control over the hosting bit, you can host the static site on Amazon S3. Again, low cost and zero server maintenance necessary. See https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/WebsiteHosting.html for instructions.

  9. 1

    Hey, I see a lot of comments singing about Ghost - and would like to share our in-the-works hosting solution at Pubbit (https://pubbit.co)

    We're aiming to make it super simple and cost effective!
    In addition, I've found that doing self-hosting through Cloud platforms would be about the same cost as using our service. Feel free to send an email if you have other questions!

  10. 1

    I've used WordPress for ~15 years, and recently moved all the posts and media to Ghost.

    But, if you want the simplest blog platform, it has to be Blot - https://blot.im. It turns a local folder into a blog. It's been around for many years, so it's pretty reliable.

  11. 1

    Hiya! I've been building a blogging platform called Imprint (imprint.to) for the past months, which might be what you're looking for. This is actually the first time I'm announcing it to this community, but I think it's at a stage where one can comfortably run a blog from it. It has the convenience of setup that Blogger and Medium provide, while also letting you put it on your own custom domain. I'd be happy to shoot you an invite code if you're interested :)

    1. 1

      Hi Roland, good to see your message. The design looks good. My social and email is in the profile. Happy to get my hands wet.

      1. 1

        Just shot you an invite! Hope it's a solution that works for you — would appreciate any feedback.

  12. 1

    You could try Gatsby JS with Netlify CMS or Contentful. It's free if you deploy it to Netlify.

  13. 1

    What is your father's audience? You might even consider Facebook or LinkedIn posts. If most of his network / friends / connections are there, that's the audience he's trying to reach anyway.

    Ask him what his goal is with the blog – that should also help you clarify where it should be hosted.

    1. 1

      I think its mostly Facebook.
      I think he wants to build an audience slowly, but not look like planning to make his living out of it.

  14. 1

    I offer blog hosting and full setup with domain for $100.

  15. 1

    Why not just set up a Medium account and have him post there? You can even activate the option to get paid from posts if they are picked up and make a little residual income. Then as you get bigger and have a strong following worry about a host, platform etc..

    Medium is stupidly simple. Create an account then start writing and publishing.

  16. 1

    I am fully realizing, this might be overkill in your case. Sharing in case others are looking for different solutions. I am using Ghost as well for the Baseline blog (https://blog.baseline.dev). Though decided to run it on AWS. It fits into the free tier and you can get startup credits if you apply here https://aws.amazon.com/activate/
    I am using the AWS CDK to provision the infrastructure. You can find a rough example here https://gist.github.com/nonken/7012cbf4710744c31dee93c110b21667 - ping me if you want a fully working version.

    1. 1

      Reading that AWS has an AMI with ghost. Doesn't it make things more easier than?

      1. 1

        Yep, it is fairly simple and was the right thing for me. The only thing to be aware of is that you have to maintain the setup. So you need to update Ghost, the OS, handle security patches, etc. And that can be painful if it is not part of your business or workflow.

        1. 1

          Makes sense.

          small world; yesterday I was checking baseline and your Intro post :). Looking forward to the technical details.

          1. 1

            Oh nice! Working on the next post as we write :D

  17. 1

    If you don’t need custom URL, I believe Wordpress also has a free option.