I started blogging last year in December. Since then I’ve switched between a lot of platforms. I’m going to talk about them.
I started blogging with Blogger, however, I deleted those blog posts. Its kinda primitive blogging platform good for beginners, but not much to do. Its a Google site, so you can expect 100% uptime. But the design and style are very primitive. However, there are templates available on the internet to modify the look, but still not easy to do such things, atleast for a normal guy.
Then I switched to Wordpress.com. Wordpress.com is the version, in which Wordpress hosts the site, and gives you a sub-domain. You can also get a personal domain for different prices depends upon the domain, or map one you already own, that too will little price. This as a blogging platform is good option, specially for beginners and non-technical people. This provides a good range of customization options. Also Wordpress provide few nicely build templates to use.
Soon I switched to self hosted version of Wordpress. Self-hosted means a lot more options. Also you can use a lot of plugins available, and themes, even upload your own themes. You can even group different sites and control them from Master control panel. Wordpress itself is a free open-source software. But you have to pay for hosting. There are range of hosting options to choose from. You can find cheap wordpress hosting with cpanel, or you can host it on cloud servers. You can even host it from your own computer.
This option is good for most people. But I wanted to explore more.
By Github, everybody starts thinking that how can we use it for blogging. Well Github provides a service called gh-pages for free. That means you can host Jekyll based pages or html pages for free on Github. This is a much open option. One can do anything with it as now you are in control of the code. And no limitations, you can host unlimited pages. You can even use custom domain with gh-pages. If you’re into designing html from scratch, then a lot of html templates are available on internet for free to choose from. Paid templates are also available if you wanna invest in a good one.
Gitbook is not particularly made for blogs, its made for books or docs. But it can still act as a very good blogging platform. Its like gh-pages but here you don’t have to upload codes in html. Instead you get a Markdown editor, in both online and offline version. You can easily type into it. Editor is very user-friendly. And as an output you get a really minimal, simple and plan blog. You can manipulate the look by adding few styling files. I’m hosting a version on my blog on Gitbook too. You can check it out here.
Ghost is a blogging platform that I’m currently using. Ghost is developed by few developers of Wordpress as they think Wordpress is becoming more of a CMS, and that they need a platform for just blogging. Its still in development but it already is awesome. Its more focused on writing. Ghost itself is a free and open source software just like Wordpress. But you’ll have to pay for hosting or you can buy Ghost PRO, to host it on Ghost’s own servers.
Now there is a hack that you can do to host Ghost blogs for free on gh-pages. I’ll cover that in my upcoming post.