In the quest of simpler blogging platforms and on a tangent - gitHub pages
Those who are prolific bloggers sooner or later come to this question. “Which is the best, most easiest way for me to write and publish online”?
Just concentrate on content without the frills and fancies and write on the go without having to bother about software updates, comments, database updates, server outage, security hack, spamming, html code and those thousand things which after a point of time become irritatingly time consuming and add very little value to the actual content you are shipping.
Most developer turned bloggers, have an affinity for blogging platforms which are based on the nuances of Markdown, originally created by John Gruber back in 2004.
So what is Markdown?
Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).
Thus, “Markdown” is two things: (1) a plain text formatting syntax; and (2) a software tool, written in Perl, that converts the plain text formatting to HTML. See the Syntax page for details pertaining to Markdown’s formatting syntax. You can try it out, right now, using the online Dingus.
They prefer markdown because of its ease. And there there are few bloggers out there in the world who have more relevant traffic than John Gruber who himself uses markdown and who earns much much more in a week by blogging than most bloggers do in a lifetime.
Jekyll is one such platform which can convert your plain text into static websites and blogs. This is not the only platform that does this, but am writing about it, since I have been tinkering with it for a while.
- No databases
- No comment moderation
- No updates
- It uses Markdown, Textile or Liquid as per what you are comfortable with
- Ready for deployment static sites
- Allows you to have categories, pages, permalinks, custom layouts etc
Jekyll follows Liquid templating language to process templates. You can check it out here.
And last but not the least, if you are a developer and want to share code on your blog, then markdown sites are way better. So much so that gitHub which launched gitHub pages sometime back to allow developers to create project websites, uses Jekyll to run gitHub pages.
And it’s way easy to install and get started.
So give it a shot - and create a blog using beautiful Markdown syntax where you just have to bother about what you write. It;s a great experience to try it once at least.
PS: If you are however, the kind of blogger who likes comments then stick to Wordpress.