What I Use to Blog in 2024

I have 2 blogs/sites. samwarnick.com runs on Blot.im and lemonpointbricks.com runs on Ghost.


The thing that attracted me to Blot was that it unifies the writing, editing, and publishing experience. Mine is setup to watch a Dropbox folder. So whenever a file in that changes, the site updates. I use iA Writer for writing, so I just add and edit markdown files in that Dropbox folder and they automatically publish. Really simple.

Automatic publishing is also the downside. Unless I put an underscore in the filename or in a special drafts folder, it will get published—including images. I don’t love managing and adding images, so that has a bit more friction. I have to be careful how they get named. Since it’s all flat markdown files, you have to manage the frontmatter and metadata yourself. I have a couple scripts to scaffold out new markdown files they way I like and where I want them, but still, more friction.

Theming is also quite difficult and not well documented. I’ve tried multiple times and never been able to get a local instance of Blot running to make theme development easier. There might be a better way, but basically, I make changes, wait for the site to rebuild, and see if they are the changes I want. Not ideal.

But, one of the fastest ways to go from idea to published post.


I started lemonpointbricks.com thinking I’d go with Astro and Pages CMS. After dealing with markdown files for years, Pages CMS looks like a great way to hide that ugliness. But I really didn’t like the idea of bringing every piece and configuring and all that—making sure I have all the right SEO tags, the RSS feed generating correctly, etc. I wanted something a little more battle tested and stable. So thought I’d try Ghost. I got it running yesterday, so not a ton of experience, but that certainly doesn’t disqualify me from talking like I know things right?

Setup was quite simple (once DNS is fully propagated.) They have a one-click droplet on Digital Ocean that made it simple, plus the Ghost CLI manages updates too. Seems to be one of the easier blogs to self-host. Their host is like $300/yr for a plan that includes custom themes, so not an option IMO. I had one small hiccup with images not uploading. Turns out I needed to manually install the sharp package with npm for some reason.

Seems to have room to grow—membership and newsletter support.

I created a custom theme mostly from scratch without too much trouble. They have a lot of helpers that manages a lot of the head content for SEO which is great.

It still seems easy to post, but a little more friction IMO. You need to go through their editor to publish, but iA Writer is able to upload drafts. So I can write in iA Writer, upload, then go to the site to clean up and publish. But that complicates my workflow a bit. Now iA Writer is full of draft” files that don’t match what is published since it doesn’t sync—just one-way. Not sure how to deal with that yet.

But Ghost is definitely robust and full-featured, and pretty simple.

iA Writer

I use iA Writer and like it quite a bit. But it’s not perfect. I wish it could sync with Ghost instead of just publishing drafts. I have no clue how to manage my files after I publish them. Do I delete them since they are no longer the source of truth? IDK, something I need to work through. I sometimes get lost in the file browser. But actually writing in it is fantastic. I love their Quattro font. I currently have no plans to switch to anything else.

So there you have it. My blogging infrastructure in 2024. Thanks for stopping by.


March 26, 2024