June 22, 2014

Blogging platforms 2014

Blogging platforms

From time to time I research the current blogging platform options. Here are my recent notes in case they are helpful to anyone. Information found here should not be considered complete - I’d recommend you visit the sites themselves of any that you find interesting.

My wish list

  • A selection of possible themes.
  • Would prefer to use apps over a web site for writing.
  • +/- Email posting.
  • Not required to design own CSS, HTML, or work from command line. Although interesting, I don’t have time for this. However, I may want to tweak it some so I want access and flexibility.

Tumblr

Markdown, post via email, bookmarklet in safari, Marsedit/Mou/Byword direct posting on Mac, Byword direct posting on iOS, seems harder to add photos than it should be in a text post, large social aspect, Yahoo financial backing (ads coming soon?), scheduled posts, Safari bookmarklet. I started blogging here.

Scriptogr.am

Mou/Byword direct posting on Mac, Byword direct posting on iOS, tags, Dropbox, no social, 8-10 themes, can now auto update. I have been posting to a blog here to see if I want to commit to it long term.

Svbtle

Magazine concept, no tags, not much customization, simple editor.

Markbox

In beta, $6/mo, markdown, they scan your Dropbox for changes and post them.

Skrivr

Automatically publishes, has some themes, markdown, need to get an invite.

Dropplets

Install on a server, markdown, publish via and uploader, premium templates, has one free template, open source, has cool image/post combo with image to left, cool motions, no tags seen.

Ghost

Markdown, free to use own server or theirs for $5/mo, open source. iOS app. Custom domains, apparently ambitious plans that are only partially implemented.

Calepin

Markdown, Dropbox, no themes, must hit button on dashboard to publish.

Roon

Markdown, premium add-ons, iOS app, no comments, they will export to you in Markdown, $12/yr for custom domain, $12/y for analytics, cannot customize html or css.

Mobtvse

Markdown, scheduled posts, image uploads, disqus, Google analytics, need to be able to set up a Rails app and edit a config file.

Droppages

Dropbox, static, has 3 themes.

Sitebox

Themes, markdown, tags, free up to 5 pages, $10/mo unlimited, Dropbox.

Telegr.am

Post via email or Dropbox, markdown, rtf, images in email, has a wait list.

Brace.io

Dropbox, automatic versioning, fast, free for one site with unlimited visitors. Must go to $50/y for custom domain.

Medium

Free, must have Twitter account, readability, community, own analytics, no custom domain, no customization, sparse options, refers readers to other writers over your own posts.

Silvrback

$49/y usual price, good About section, good layout, markdown, custom domains, image uploads not as easy as others, now at 2.0, header images.

Postach.io

Evernote account needed, $5/mo for premium, social integration, custom domain, tags, Disqus, markdown, poor theme support.

Postagon

$5/mo, markdown, comments, custom domains, no tags, poorer typography, post via email, email alerts for readers, drag/drop photos, Google analytics, can get accolades.

Posthaven

$5/mo, goal is to not go out of business, tags, custom domains, not much theme support, founded by a couple of original Posterous founders.

Jux

Free, good layouts, nice fonts, custom domains, company recently unstable but is recovering, mainly photo oriented. It appears an upcoming premium membership will be needed to cusomized fonts, colors, logos. A tool is coming to allow Jux collections to be shared on other web pages.

SETT

Community, like Medium or Svbtle, more comments, can follow blogs, fosters engagement, appears to have some customization.

Wordpress

I tried Wordpress.com last year and ended up abandoning it due to a cap on tags. It is a solid blogging platform, though, and powers a huge chunk of sites on the web. There is a self-hosted version, of course. Much is free but premium themes exist. I still own Poster if I ever go back to Wordpress. I wonder if Simplenote on iOS will ever integrate with Wordpress since Automattic owns both. Direct publishing via Byword on Mac and iOS. It is possible to use Markdown with Wordpress.

Blogger

Direct publishing via Byword on Mac and iOS. I have never seen a Blogger blog that I found visually appealing so I have never taken it seriously as an option. Might just be me though.

Squarespace

Around $9/mo, can use Markdown, visual and other adjustments easily done via drag/drop without technical knowledge.

Moving forward in 2014

I find the concept of markdown blogging via Dropbox to be very interesting. I have been running a Scriptogr.am experiment since last year and like it. I think I will stick with Scriptogr.am a while longer and see where it goes. I might look into SETT more because the community aspect. I have a fair amount of material in Tumblr and will keep it there until I find something better.

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