What is the best platform to start tech blogging? Feeling overwhelmed because “there are just so many blogging platforms”? It’s something every developer who wants to blog struggles with. Including myself.
This site was a Gatsby site until a few weeks ago. Gatsby is a hot product, a static site generator that uses the trendiest tech like React and GraphQL. But now this site is WordPress, the PHP workhorse that’s not exactly the sexiest blogging tech.
Actually tech blogging, not fiddling with tech
There is no one best platform, but there are ways in which platforms can make your work much harder. Just because you’re good at tech doesn’t mean you’re good at blogging tech. And do you want to spend time fiddling with blogging tech when you should be spending time blogging? I recommend prioritizing how fast you can go from reading this article to tech blogging right now.
With my old Gatsby setup, writing a post felt like an ordeal. There is a reason so many sites use WordPress. It’s common and has a lot of tools for writers. I already had my domain on Dreamhost so I did a one-click install. That solves my second priority as well, which is owning my own content and being able to control how it’s hosted. There is so much I dislike about WordPress. It’s not Markdown native. The entire template experience feels like wading through spam. It’s not as fast as Gatsby. But just writing a post like this is pretty darn easy. And content optimization is basically 95% about the writing, and 5% about your site.
Focus on the blogging part of tech blogging
This might change in the future as headless CMSs like Prismic and Siteleaf get more popular. But currently getting the content from the headless CMS on your actual website often requires further development work!
Now let’s say you don’t have easy access to WordPress hosting. Then do you have GitHub? GitHub has GitHub Pages which comes with Jekyll, a popular static site generator with blogging capabilities! You can also use a custom domain with it. You don’t see this mentioned much because GitHub doesn’t promote it heavily, but many of my most successful sites are GitHub pages with a custom domain! There are lots of other options like write.as, but don’t spend too much time on looking for the “perfect” blogging tech – focus on what can get you writing as quickly as possible. If control and a custom domain isn’t important to you, it’s even easier on sites like Dev.to.
Now’s the really hard part: start writing!