I was going to write about something, very drastically, different today. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about moving from tumblr to another self hosted blogging platform. I thought I did write about it and ask for some help in this regard.
Why I chose tumblr over other platforms?
When I re-started writing and publishing this year (a week before this year, actually). My writing goals were different. I was suppose to write, only, 4 posts in a month. Mathematically, this works out far less, than what my writing/blogging goals changed to, during the start of this year. I write one post a day now. On anything that I want to write about. One post, everyday, on any of the blogs I have on tumblr.
I chose tumblr, when I did, for it’s simplicity of, allowing me to just write and post. It would be far simpler for me to start a series of tumblr blogs on topics that I wanted to write on and just write and post. I even designed and released a tumblr theme for these, blogs’o mine. I was only going to write 4 posts a month. No big deal at that point, in time. Maybe later on, when it “felt right”, I could move away from tumblr. Not too many posts when you do 4 a month, spread out between a number of blogs.
Why I want to move from tumblr to something self-hosted?
I am writing and publishing, every day now. Everything I write and publish is, very dear to me. I don’t want to lose, what I wrote/write/published, to tumblr, changing it’s policies or be bound by tumblr’s policies about publishing content.
When/if tumblr’s policies do change, I don’t want to move 100’s of posts, from several of my blogs, to a self hosted platform at that point in time. That would be, nothing less than, a nightmare.
I am also worried about not having backups. Desk does store whatever I write down, but once I publish, I do make corrections directly online. Edit some HTML to align images, etc. So the drafts within desk, more often than not, are not the finished/published blog post(s).
While there are services that let you backup your tumblr blog(s), the most promising one I have found out to be is - revert.io. The downside to this service is that it only lets you backup one tumblr blog for free. If you want to backup more, you have to pay for their service ($99/year) for backing up, not just, tumblr, but also, your Evernote, Google Drive, Highrise, Mailchimp and Dropbox. Right now, when I have a limited number of posts (20+ odd), I don’t want to pay a monthly subscription for something like that, and I don’t have any other services I did like to backup. Not now, not in the long run. Because I already pay for a service that backs up everything on my main system - Backblaze ($95 USD unlimited and end to end encrypted backup for two years!).
Right now, twenty odd posts are not much to move, either.
Self hosted, blogging/publishing platforms I am considering to move to:
I have had a, self hosted WordPress blog before, over at Designerfoo (it’s just a single HTML page now). I like that WordPress, today, offers the ability to host a network of blogs with a single code-base. I also like how easy it is to get going with a WordPress blog. I have been a fan of the (in)famous five minute install, a long time now. I love the fact that everything you could possibly want in a blog, comes packaged as a feature(s) in a theme or/and as a WordPress plugin.
What I don’t like about WordPress, being a WordPress author of two plugins, is that, it’s a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t want to use or feel the need to use. There’s a lot of bloat. Sure, it makes things very easy, in terms of writing and publishing. Maintaining it, is a different story all together, upgrades may break plugins, etc. Then there is the lure of changing themes to see what they look like or adding plugins to make it look all fancy or work differently, etc. I had fallen into this trap, when I was using WordPress, with Designerfoo. I don’t particularly like the media management within WordPress. I am not a perfectionist, far from it - but this doens’t mean that I wouldn’t have to rewrite/tweak or as someone I know says “tweak” with a plugin code so that it may work, just the way I would want it to.
I am giving jekyll a lot of thought. I love the fact that all pages, are, at the end of the day, plain HTML. Nothing dynamic is ever uploaded, at least with the basic setup. Asset management is very easy. It uses Liquid. I can virtually, set it up once for a blog and just replicate those very same settings across all of the blogs, better yet, let all blogs pick up their config.yml and assets from the same location. Deploying & Continuous Integration is easy. I can write up CSS rules using Less/Sass and it will take care of generating the CSS, if need arises to change things a little. Jekyll has it’s, own, import gem, that I can use to import everything I have written, so far. I did use jekyll-import to check how easy it was to move from Tumblr. I did not have to do anything but run a single command! I was/am impressed. Being a programmer, I always wanted to try out Jekyll.
What I don’t like about jekyll, is that I did have to, probably, work on a theme again or port Minelienda, or a version of it, over to Jekyll. Not when I initially move over, but once I am done with the move over. The initial setup will take time. I would have to replicate/sync between my main system and the laptop. Since, I write from both - dropbox or something similar would be used here.
What do you think I should go with? Penny for your thoughts?