Ask DN: what is your blog set up with?

almost 7 years ago from , Freelance Designer/Web Designer/Film maker

Hey DN! I have just spent the day trying to set up a personal blog using jekyll, ghost, and a few other CMS's. I am looking for a static site generator like jekyll, but jekyll makes it very hard to switch themes, and I kind of gave up because of compatibility issues.

So, all of this got me wondering: What is your blog built with?



  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, almost 7 years ago

    I realize that this will sound controversial but - I'm setting one up right now, and it'll use...


    And the most popular WordPress template out there. Why? Support, flexibility, and no need to worry about anything. It's simple, takes the least amount of time and allows me some really cool and quick fancy blog post creation abilities.

    We're designers. It's our task to work within constraints. The ones I gave myself were very tight, but with a focus on quickly getting content out there ASAP at as little effort as possible.

    To get those and maintain the flexibility and future-proof-ness (lol words) I'll settle for the industry standard!

    10 points
    • Connor Tomas O'BrienConnor Tomas O'Brien, almost 7 years ago

      No shame! I'm still a big fan of WordPress – and the WP Rest API now offers a lot of flexibility in terms of being able to move away from reliance on PHP to render the front-end.

      1 point
    • Trev MorrisTrev Morris, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

      All about the WP! I've used Semplice by Mr van Schneider. It was quick to set up, meant I didn't have to worry about using any of WP default themes/settings etc and I had my website up in no time (pretty basic but w/e).

      1 point
  • Jonathan BrodheimJonathan Brodheim, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    Kirby! Static, and super simple. Just updated to 2.4 (though I haven't upgraded yet myself).

    6 points
  • Priyanka SharmaPriyanka Sharma, almost 7 years ago


    I tried playing with a lot of platforms out there, but I had already been procrastinating to start writing, and the thought of setting up a custom blog just didn't click to me. It would've meant more time spent on building the blog rather than working on the content. It may not work for everyone out there since there's very little customization possible, but it worked for me since my style is basically minimal and Medium rocks at that. Setting it up was also very straight-forward. The best thing about using Medium is that it has audience of its own and there's a great possibility that with the right marketing, my content will make it to the best people in the design community. I couldn't be happier!

    5 points
    • Abhinav ChhikaraAbhinav Chhikara, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

      Seconded! Would set up my blog as a Medium publication, which has gotten a lot more powerful over the past year. Custom domains, navigation tabs, etc. As an example, check out TheRinger.com

      Again, not for everyone, but the advantage of plugging your content into a thriving network, while still maintaining your own site outweighs any cons for me.

      1 point
  • Grant Palin, almost 7 years ago

    Been using WordPress for quite a while. Have done lots of custom code, some theme work, some custom plugins, and keep following the WP developments. That said...I'm leaning towards something simpler. For my own site, I don't really need the complexity that WP brings.

    I've been trialing Craft, which is a bit different but feels much like WordPress with a modern codebase and interface. I lean a bit more towards Kirby, as it provides really straightforward objects and functionality. I rather like the way blueprints and templates work together, and how it is possible to use controllers and snippets. The big question I have ahead of me is how to migrate my content.

    2 points
  • A. M. ­DouglasA. M. ­Douglas, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    I wrote some HTML. I wrote some CSS. I wrote some JavaScript.

    Then when it came to the blog articles, where the pages would look the same, I wrote some more HTML/CSS/JS, followed by a Perl script to replicate the article pages and generate RSS/JSON feeds. Before I finished the Perl script, I wrote the RSS and JSON by hand as well. It was a quiet weekend so I had time to kill.

    I then used nginx to serve it — at least, until recently, when I switched to Caddy. I'd been meaning to get Let'sEncrypt set up for ages because I didn't want to renew my TLS certs.

    Then I saw [Caddy](caddyserver.com), and thought that it would be a bit of a time-saver. I was not disappointed. It's not like nginx takes that long to setup for HTTP/2 and Let'sEncrypt, but Caddy gets that time down to about 30-60 seconds including curl/download time.

    I could have used a static site generator but I like Perl and I seldom get a chance to work with Perl these days.

    I used to use my fork of the Ghost CMS, but I decided to go static because I wanted to consolidate a number of DigitalOcean droplets into one.

    2 points
  • P Styl, almost 7 years ago

    I use Metalsmith. It's a very bare-bones static site generator where everything is a plugin. So you get to define your own workflow.

    A workflow could be:

    1. Take Markdown files from a source directory
    2. Get the right template (written in pretty much any templating language)
    3. Update all links
    4. Generate pretty permalinks
    5. Generate the whole website
    6. Deploy and go live.

    You could, technically, use themes, but I don't know how many you'll find out in the wild. Everyone has their own personal workflow/templates.

    I've written a beginner-level Metalsmith tutorial on my blog (which itself is powered by Metalsmith), if you're interested.

    1 point
  • Alexander ObenauerAlexander Obenauer, almost 7 years ago

    Semplice on Wordpress (http://www.semplicelabs.com), with a thing I wrote to do article covers (see below the fold: http://alexobenauer.com) for each post.

    1 point
  • Michael Frankland, 6 years ago

    Mine is built with: https://www.pulsecms.com/

    0 points
  • Martin Mark, almost 7 years ago

    I'm actually using Wordpress + Simply Static to convert my site to static.

    0 points
  • Jimmy OfisiaJimmy Ofisia, almost 7 years ago

    Nibbleblog (discontinued, but I like it)

    0 points
  • Evan PEvan P, almost 7 years ago

    Hugo was super easy for me to set up, compiles really quickly, is hosted on S3 for pennies a month, and does everything I need.

    0 points
  • Timothy McKennaTimothy McKenna, almost 7 years ago

    I've been using WordPress for about 4/5 years at this point (a custom install, not WordPress.com). Professionally, I started using WordPress for client work as a blog/CMS/LMS/what have you but in the last few years I've started working in other systems as well. Kirby is pretty cool for a blog and CraftCMS is pretty sweet for blogging as well (It's not free though). I have my WordPress hooked up to publish to my Medium account as well.

    0 points
  • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, almost 7 years ago

    Tumblr. (Does that count?)

    My blog -- if I'd even call it that -- is a random collection of images, videos, quotes, and occasional work and podcast updates.

    0 points
  • ミンニシオ 。ミンニシオ 。, almost 7 years ago


    0 points
  • Fabio SirnaFabio Sirna, almost 7 years ago

    As others suggested, have a look at Kirby

    0 points
  • Ben SilvaBen Silva, almost 7 years ago

    I used Ghost to set up my blog. Setting it up was painless and Handlebars templating is easy to understand and tweak.

    0 points
  • Joe VillanuevaJoe Villanueva, almost 7 years ago

    Gatsby. Previously, Jekyll.

    They're both nice for different reasons.

    0 points
  • Adam RasheedAdam Rasheed, almost 7 years ago

    I'm redesigning mine in Kirby. Really good solution for my needs as I'm only blogging once a week and its all flat-file. Load times are super-quick.

    0 points
  • Jason EtcovitchJason Etcovitch, almost 7 years ago

    I've used Jekyll for a while now, but because I'm as much a developer as I am a designer I don't consider making changes to it "switching themes;" I realize you probably aren't like that, so Jekyll doesn't sound like its for you.

    I've really loved Craft, but it's not at all theme-based. You'll have to basically design and code each template, but its worth it because of its flexibility.

    Enjoy! If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    0 points
    • Nathan LongNathan Long, almost 7 years ago

      +1 for Jekyll—but Jason's right, you have to be willing to tinker. Not an out-of-the-box solution.

      0 points
    • Connor Norvell, almost 7 years ago

      Agreed, I found a theme that was more in the direction I was headed format wise, and wanted to "switch themes" so I could change most of the code and get it to match the rest of my website. It would seem pretty dumb to use a static site generator using a command line... and then use a theme haha.

      But I am not as much dev as I am designer. thanks for the help!

      0 points