Developed my application on Laravel and love it. But, I’m wondering what I should use for my app’s blog. I don’t want to waste a lot of time setting it up but I also don’t want to be restricted. What have other people found to be the right mix? Should I give-in to WordPress?
Wordpress seems reasonable since that is what it was designed for. Are you going to use it to promote/explain your product also? I generally use Drupal for websites, mainly because of views (they’re like SQL queries). I haven’t decided whether to do my product website in Wordpress or Drupal yet. I’m currently building a site that’s related to my product in Drupal. The idea is to use it to build a mailing list. I used Google Adwords to direct traffic to a landing page but I found it quite expensive so I’m going to try content marketing instead.
I don’t think there is any reason to use anything other than WordPress to start with.
I’m about to switch mine from a static site generator (PieCrust) to WordPress. (My app is node.js) The SSG isn’t bad, but it’s a pain to write content with embedded images and such. WP is just so freaking easy.
Another vote for Wordpress. The millions of plugins for everything under the sun alone make it worthwhile.
I know it’s macho in programming circles to complain about WP, but at the end of the day, if all you want to do is write content and not have to worry about any low level details, nothing beats WP. It just works out of the box.
I gave up on hosting my own with Rails-based Typo and pay to host with Wordpress.com. It works pretty well so far and I am happy to spend less time playing admin, and more to code, write, or do other stuff for my business.
If anyone builds their applications in Rails, then you should check out Octopress. Its a static site generator written in ruby, so your webpages should load really fast. Im currently moving my WordPress site over to Octopress now.
You won’t go wrong with Wordpress, but I’ve been using Hugo, a static site generator written in Go, for my blog. It’s a single binary and renders my entire site in less than 200ms (runs on Win/Mac/Linux).
I run over a half dozen Wordpress sites, but using Hugo has been fun. I use git to publish, my site loads quickly, there are no plugins or core updates, no database and no security issues. I love writing posts in Markdown in a text editor (Notepad++). I optimize images with PNGGauntlet and Riot.
Ive started using Statiked and hosting on S3. Cheap, simple, fast. I’m also going to be hosting my main site on S3 when it’s ready.
This is a non issue. Just use Wordpress.
Why is it a non-issue? Because what blogging platform you choose doesn’t matter to your customers.
I’ll go a step further. Don’t just build your blog on WordPress, built all your marketing pages on top of it too, using a WYSIWYG page builder like Visual Composer or OptimizePress.
I made the transition from hand-coding sales pages, to using Bootstrap, to using OptimizePress (OP in the last 2 weeks) and I’m absolutely kicking myself for not switching sooner (wrote about here).
Basically, when you bake your own solutions, you waste a lot of time you don’t need to be wasting. You don’t need the extra flexibility or pretty hover elements, you need speed, so you can ship those pages quickly and then get back to focusing on product.
Spend your time and creative energy building a fucking badass product, don’t waste it on hand-coding your sales/marketing page.
…or worrying about what blog platform to use, for that matter.
So the other day I got all paranoid about wordpress because of the security issue and I just ripped it out and replaced it with custom php with markdown support in about 45 minutes.
Then someone asked me about an RSS feed so I had to go build that but that only took an hour.
So far I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how well it’s serving me for being so ridiculously simple.
I run my business blog on WordPress in WP Engine. They take care of the backups and updates. I also love their “stage” that let’s me try out things without breaking my real environment.
But even after using WordPress for over 2 years now, I still don’t like it. Trying to get things done with WordPress is a constant struggle, especially when I want to change how things look like. If you have extra time to really learn it well and you know php, you might enjoy it, but I’d like to concentrate on my business and just get something that works and isn’t PITA to use.
For my SaaS’ blog, I’ll be probably trying out http://middlemanapp.com, another static generator. People whose apps are on RoR have really liked it.
I hand-rolled my very own “engine”. It’s integrated into a… ahem… marketing site for my product, which gets it nice
example.com/blog URL (not the
blog.example.com). It has Windows Live Writer support, so I can write my posts in a nice WYSIWYG desktop editor. Comments are powered by Disquis.
So far it’s been very stable and the entire site (on a not so beefy server) has survived the onslaught of 18K visitors from HN.
I use static site generator Jekyll and deploy to Github (for free) after testing at a local level. It’s really quick and easy now I’ve got a few layouts set up.
I like that I can just write in Markdown using text editor Sublime, rather than inputting content somewhere else and conforming to their limitations.
WordPress is not quite as set-and-forget as people like to claim. I’m not saying don’t use it, but I am saying be informed.
WordPress itself has an okay security record recently (it used to be horrible and it got a bad reputation from those days) but it’s very easy to start piling plugins onto WordPress. A huge number of those plugins have horrible security issues. If you set and forget, you will fall behind on updates and you will be hit by a security issue.
It’s more expensive and more trouble initially, but if you want WordPress to be truly set-and-forget, host it on WordPress.com and set up the domain forwarding stuff so you still control the domain it’s on. That way WordPress.com is responsible for updates and security. Then it truly can be set-and-forget. You won’t be able to run any plugin under the sun (they won’t let you!) but that’s actually a good thing in this case. They only let you run the ones that they’re willing to vouch for the security of.
I use Jekyll in my Rails app. I like that I can keep my writing history in git, and tap into the asset pipeline to handle the css etc.
That said collaborating (eg: external posts, or even SEO consulting from a third-party) is currently requiring that I tweak things a bit to move the blog and site to a dedicated github project, so that I can add collaborators without sharing the whole code of my app.
Hope this helps!
We’re using Jekyll and hosting the site on GitHub Pages for DNSimple, and I’m doing the same for my personal blog.
I like @Crewlab 's thinking. My marketing pages are hand-coded using Bootstrap (using a bought theme), which ends up wasting a lot of time when I wanna change or add something.
With that said, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned Tumblr yet.
I use Tumblr for blog.notedock.com and blog.jabeuy.com, mostly b/c of the speed of setting it up. Just fiddle with some tumblr dashboard things, then point your blog’s domain to tumblr’s. Plus it’s free! Haha.
There are cons (which don’t matter to me much at this point in time):
fewer themes than some other platforms
less customizable than others, or at least harder to find resources that teach you how
no plugins (that I’m aware of) to do email capture popups, A/B testing, etc. All the things you can easily add in a Wordpress blog.