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Hello Blog

This is the nth time I’ve switched blogging platforms.

So, I’ll try to articulate why I switch these things so often.

I ❤️ Markdown

Markdown is one of those things that I’ve liked ever since the first time I used it.

If you don’t know, Markdown is a really simple way of writing rich text using nothing more than a handful of characters to denote formatting. The format is super-simple and in my opinion one of the best ways to write content such as this blog post.

Let’s be honest, HTML is a terrible tool for writing. I mean its great for building out a full-fledged web page. But if you need to open a <p> tag and subsequently close it with a </p> every time you wanted to write a new paragraph of content, you’d spend more time writing HTML than actual content. To be fair, my content isn’t remarkably great either, but I want to write my boring not-so-great content and not have to worry too much about code semantics.

Now a plain solution to the HTML problem is of course plain-text, no special formatting… open up your favorite text editor and write away. But plain text is a little too plain for my taste. Why settle for that when you can have your plain text and format it? 🤔

To be fair, markdown has its own problems (different almost-compatible implementations, an outdated official spec, trying to build a common spec and building just another incompatible spec looking at you, commonmark). But for all its flaws, it is still far better than most other alternatives (queue screeching from RST, Pandoc and other weird text format users).

What’s that got to do with anything?

Nothing really, I’m just trying to indoctrinate you into using Markdown.

Weird meme GIF

No, that’s not it (maybe?😉). The reason for bringing up Markdown is that I like writing in Markdown.

So automatically, platforms and tools that support Markdown have a certain appeal to me.

I’ll try to list a few problems I faced with different blogging systems and platforms.

WordPress

To be completely honest, there’s a reason its one of the most used piece of software on the interwebs. It's pretty easy to start something with WordPress, and for the most part it gets out of the way and does its job.

So my problem with WordPress is that It's just too big of a software for running a simple unmaintained blog like mine. Also, I love shitting on PHP (for no good reason 😅).

Ghost

Ghost is awesome! Loved it the first time I used it. Their markdown editor is just 💯 awesome. I wish someone would take that beautiful markdown editor and put it on something far simpler to set up and run. Also don't feel like running a DB instance for what can be a static site.

Medium

Great platform, great community, hate the paywall…

DEV

Awesome community, pretty cool platform. I still post most of my write-ups there (follow me on dev.to/fa7ad). I just wish they would get a good markdown editor (maybe steal the one from Ghost 🧐). Also, I like having a self-hosted blog in addition to someone else’s platform.

Jekyll

Pretty cool… Pain in the ass to run locally for some reason (hint: its ruby). But a positive is that GitHub natively supports Jekyll.

Postach.io

Evernote is just terrible, not their fault to be honest…

Hugo

Documentation isn’t great, but otherwise pretty good so far… With GitHub actions, deployments are great too. Local setup wasn’t too bad either. Let’s see how long it lasts 🤷

Update: It didn't last very long, but it was a great experience.

So what (the f**k) do you use now?

Next.js

Because doing React all day at work wasn't enough of a PITA.

Cheers 🍻