uncool publishing platforms

I started a Ghost blog just over two years ago, and before that I have tried nearly every platform to write content over the past many years

I like to write, so need to have some outlet. I now want to write more and admin less

As I learn more about building & selling products, I’m making an unpopular choice about the environment for the desire to naturally occur

I’ve finally landed on the unpopular but effective (boring) wordpress.

which means I’m more focused on the writing this time around, for more than than the people in my network. Sign up here and you’ll get an email when I write a new post.

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My first blog was a livejournal, to self hosted blog, to blogspot, blogger, facebook, quora, medium, ghost to now wordpress. It seems I’m more interested in the tech of writing than the writing itself

Ali Nawab

WordPress is an unpopular option amongst the early adopters. Its not as cool as the others, but it just works, I have full control over my data and it has most of the things anyone would need already built is as blocks

More about the other options

Medium – cool people post here, but Medium may not be around in five years. Medium is fun to write in, and thats about it. Great for people who already have distribution. Some of my better writing is on medium since it favours long form. Hopefully they will figure it out although I’m not a fan of their socialized paywall.

Facebook/Twitter/* – they decide who gets to post and you can lose all your content. You can get moderated/banned quickly sometimes even by accident. There is a lot of censorship responsibility on these companies, and they just cannot do a good job. at least they are trying now, but their efforts and past actions have been subject to lots of valid criticism

but twitter is awesome too -> I’ve learned a lot of things from people on twitter and most things that dont need to be a blog post are better suited for twitter. If you want to learn in public, and interact with people its an awesome place

twitter can be addictive, and sometimes cruel too.

Ghost – my blog was previously hosted on ghost for two years, here is a little more on the subject. I hit 10,000 subscribers on my ghost blog and had a good run with it. It was a lot of fun. some key notes from my experience

  • open source, designed for pro writers
  • one click droplet install on digitalocean
  • managing a ghost instance is a fair amount of work
  • I broke my blog a few times trying to update to the latest version of ghost
  • but I like fixing bugs so I dont complain about this
screenshot
  • spam + comment moderation + integration needs work
  • features are still not fully done e.g spam, email new posts needs to be managed
  • easy to export content out of ghost

Ghost Pro – not enough value for the price, I tried the pro. it appears to be the same, just that a system admin does the ghost install && update

Webflow – very cool, no code type and I did try it out. Maybe my next move. I follow their CEO on twitter who seems to be a geniunely awesome person. see below

I tried to build out my blog in webflow and it was cool. particularly this template for my blog post looked pretty nice.

webflow blog post

so I went on twitter to find help. I messaged both @callmevlad and put a general purpose post out there in moving away from a self hosted ghost. Both pointed me to their community forum as I wanted to learn the following

if I want to to host my blog on webflow vs ghost or wordpress, what do I have to give up?

Ali Nawab

which didnt let me sign up with twitter (it happens) but I’d had my share of bug fixing for the day. I politely reported the bug and moved on with my search.

but I didnt want to spend a lot of time figuring out if I could send emails to subscribers when I published a new post.

maybe I’ll move to a hosted webflow once I figure that out (in two years probably)

anawab

WordPress.com – software that is not sexy but just works. e.g. adding a little email sign up form was two clicks, and their customer support was helpful. I dont like CSS and I think no one does so the fact that they saved me 15 mins of googling was cool.

Customer Support helping me remove the powered by wordpress.com from the footer

Importing content from ghost to wordpress is not straight forward. I think wordpress doesnt know Ghost exists lol. I asked their customer service if they had a way to migrate from Ghost and he asked me what that was.

anyway I found a plugin written by Hugh Rundle who had to move from ghost to wp for some sad reason, and he was indeed quite bummed about it.

If you are in the unfortunate situation where you need to migrate from Ghost to WordPress, ghost-to-wp should make it pretty easy for you. You should be able to migrate authors, posts (including published status and stickiness), and tags. The main thing that won’t come across in the script is images, because Ghost doesn’t have a nice way to export them, and WordPress doesn’t have a usable way to import them.

Hugh Rundle

anyway so here we are. Unfortunately I’ve decided that wordpress is still the best tool for the job to be done. –> focus on learning to build & sell, more specifically about startups, machine learning, remote work, products, pakistan and other random things as I find more time to write about my adventures.

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hopefully more writing, and less on publishing software from here on.

A little update. I was quite tempted to try webflow again, but we’re focusing on content for the next little while.

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