Some of you might already know that I was blogging way back in the late '90s - I don't think we even called it blogging back then. I was even making pretty good money doing it... enough that I didn't have a "traditional" job for spending money in high school or college until after the dot.com bust killed ad revenue in 2001. At one point, I was getting picked up by significant publications like C|Net and PC Gamer.
So of course I thought it'd be easy to figure out how to get going. I mean, I've done plenty of blogging since then for the companies I've worked for, and it's not like I forgot how to write. Well, that was naïve.
This whole thing used to be pretty straightforward. You find a web hosting site, install WordPress, and go to town. Now there're dozens of options, with different features, and none of them do everything you need. So I figured I'd share what I picked, so you can maybe learn from me.
My first attempt, www.wrong.dev, I started on a platform called Wix that includes a built-in blogging platform. It's still running actually, and I might still use it as a home for some of my more technical content. But let me tell you, Wix is a pain to use and customize. It seemed like every time I went to do something, I had to fight with the platform just to make a little change. It's 2022 (well then, it was still 2021), I don't want to have to mess around with style sheets and other garbage just to get a site to look the way I want. So I scrapped that and started looking around.
Then I popped over to bluehost.com and took a look at their WordPress hosting. Bluehost seems pretty great, but WordPress has turned into some kind of Frankenstein's monster in the past 20 years. Yeah, it seems pretty flexible, sure, but I was completely overwhelmed by trying to figure out what plugins to use, how to configure my theme, set up a mailing list (so I can let you all know when I post new content), and otherwise get started.
Finally, I landed on Ghost. Ghost is pretty slick - I was up and running with my new, custom domain (I use Google Domains, mainly because they're 20% cheaper for .dev domains) in about 15 minutes, and uploading a custom theme was very easy. If you like it, it's called Nikko and it's from https://bironthemes.com/. I also set up comments for my posts using Cove.
I'm sure I'll find something about it that will annoy me at some point, but at least to get going, this seems like the best blend of power and ease of use that's currently available.
If you're still here, do me a favor and click on that "Subscribe" button up top, so I can let you know when I have something new to share. And definitely comment if you have anything to share. Thanks!!