One of my goals for 2014 is to write more.
I’ve been using a paper notebook daily and I have stuck to this goal so far. I have found since getting into the habit of writing; getting my thoughts and ideas onto paper, or in this case, online, are a real help in developing ideas and emptying my mind of “clutter”.
I am currently relaunching my personal online marketing blog at oliverworthington.com which has been in limbo for three years, but I still felt as though I needed something minimal, quick and easy to just “blog” with.
Back “in the day” I threw everything onto “OllysBlog.com” (Olly with a Y) but times have changed and I’ve kept all my focus into online marketing on the one site – oliverworthington.com, however, there are still several topics I want to write about that would fit into a personal blog just to record my personal progression, therefore I decided to search for something new and uncomplicated.
The New Blogging Platform
I finally decided on Svbtle. I wanted something that was simple, fast, minimal, low-maintenance and generally a strong all round platform for every-day blogging.
Over the past couple of days I’d short-listed my chosen blogging platforms to the following five options and ran through the pros and cons to each one. Eventually my final selection was based on simplicity, functionality, having a clean URL structure (If you don’t know why that’s important visit oliverworthington.com) and satisfying my personal curiosity of using something new.
I took both self hosted and wp.com options into consideration, however, as I run over 100 WordPress blogs and have been building WordPress websites for over 10 years I just wanted a change, something slimline, something cleaner. I felt the urge to test a new option as well, so for me, this ruled out WordPress.
For the past 6 months I’ve been using Tumblr to run OlliesBlog. Tumblr’s writing functionality is clunky and I’ve lost several blog posts I’ve written on the Tumblr mobile app and lost more directly on the Tumblr site. The audience benefit you get from the Tumblr community isn’t one that I think I would benefit from when writing posts about “minimalism”, “code” and “Linux Distributions”, so I decided to pull this plug from Tumblr.
Having said that, I still love and use Tumblr daily and have found a use for a URL and username that I’d been sat on for a few years. I have now made this URL my Tumblr “brand” account to post and reblog great things I see online. You can visit my “kind-of-new” Tumblr site at RobotJunk.com.
Medium is getting a lot of buzz at the moment, however it’s not really a personalised option, or at least not as much as I’d like it to be, Medium posts are done via connecting to your social media account and sit under the Medium.com domain as a sub directory, for example:
The platform does look fantastic and is very simple to use, however I’ve read a couple of articles where people that had migrated their entire blog to use Medium had lost a lot of traffic in doing so, this isn’t to say I’m expecting any traffic to this blog, but I prefer to have more control over the URL structure of my sites.
Ghost looks great and I was almost sold after watching the promotional video, being a funded open source Kickstarter campaign I was keen to find out more. I was instantly put off when I began looking for blogs actually running the Ghost CMS, all I could find were empty shells of blogs, even on the Ghost site itself there was a forum of bloggers giving out links to their URLs (a few months old) when the platform launched and now 90% of them were no longer using the platform. This rang alarm bells. I’d also read of a few people let down by the platform, so I decided to give Ghost a miss for now, however, it does look promising.
This leaves me with Svbtle, it ticked all the boxes, and I think it’s a great platform, I really like the simplistic dashboard and the speed of everything. My only concern with Svbtle is the IP ownership, if it did close tomorrow, not that it’s going to happen, but if it did, what would become of all my “stuff”?
Even though this is my first post I will be posting some travel blogs I wrote when trekking through South America, these will be back dated before this “first post”. I will also be running some tests on the svbtle platform to see how it’s performance fairs with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and redirecting old posts from my original “OllysBlog.com” university project site, to this new blog platform, the results of which will be, of course, reported on oliverworthington.com.