I get people writing into me saying “I love the layout/design/speed of your blog. How is it built?”
It’s an evolving process, but I wanted to share the core technology.
Content, Layout, Editing, Publishing: WordPress
I originally started writing on Blogger, then Medium, but when Ghost became big enough for me to feel confident about it (in 2018), I moved all my content over.
The main reasons I love Ghost are that I like the values of the company, that it’s fast, and that it’s a pleasure to write on.
I even really like the standard theme, Casper, and miss it.
But eventually, I moved to WordPress for one main reason: All my commercial sites are on WordPress, and there’s economies of scale to use it.
If it’s your only site, and you just like writing, I really recommend Ghost. Sign up for a trial with Ghost and check it out.
(I get a small commission if you do, but I’ve recommended Ghost for years before they offered commissions.)
We use a Kadence theme on all our websites. We’ve been using it since 2019 and don’t have any plans to change, unless they (significantly) up the price.
Kadence has loads of features that make it fast and flexible. Some of the things I use frequently are
- Advanced galleries
- Patterns / Reusable blocks
- Logic for automatic insertion of blocks (like a sign-up box in every post)
It’s really quite magical.
Hosting: BigScoots, WPX, DigitalOcean
You need a web host to store your web server. When people (like you, friendly visitor!) visit my sites, they are requesting pages from a server.
We use three hosts.
BigScoots is our main host. We use this for all our big-traffic production websites that bring us money. It costs us about $1K a year, but brings with it excellent performance, peace of mind, and customer support.
WPX is our host for small websites that are still in development. Their performance is actually also excellent, but it’s a company I know less. I just use a second one to hedge my bets.
Finally, we use DigitalOcean for projects and experiments — things like APIs, test websites, new technologies, and so on. Things we build up and tear down at little cost. It’s the equivalent of a small computer with incredibly fast internet that you rent for $5 a month.
Share images: Bing Image Creator (Dall-E), Midjourney + Photoshop.
Some people ask me where I get the graphics for our websites from. Easy: They’re AI-generated. I use Dall-E and Midjourney, whatever produces the most pleasant results.
For example, the cover artwork for this post is produced by Bing Image Creator and Adobe Photoshop.