Why I chose Jekyll for my personal site

2 minute read

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Why I decided to create my own blog on Github Pages with Jekyll instead of using popular platforms like Medium, Dev.to, or Hackernoon.

When I first came up with the idea of creating a blog, Medium seemed the right choice. Popular platform, no concerns about hosting or configuration. I could just start writing.

But I stopped for a moment and decided to do a little research on Medium. And I found some concerns about the paywall, user tracking, and other issues. This already made me rethink the idea.

Then, I also found this article called Medium Was Never Meant to Be a Part of the Developer Ecosystem, and it made me see how all the Medium restrictions and policies actually make it harder for us developers to find the information we need.

After that, I gave up on Medium.

OK, Medium is not fit for Developers. But what about the other platforms?

The research about Medium made me cautious about the others as well. So I did my research on each of the platforms, but different from Medium, I didn’t find anything to be concerned about.

Actually, reading the “About” section for both Dev.to and Hackernoon I found out they both have good policies and the goal of having an open space for developers to share knowledge. And I was really considering writing directly in one of those.

That was when I found a post about Why you should not publish content on Dev.to and why we should follow the POSSE principle.

Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere

After reading that, I started to like the idea of having my own blog and using Dev.to and Hackernoon to share it.

But why not WordPress or any other CMS?

Well, I had my experience with WordPress years ago. Setting up a host for it, plus all the trouble for the configuration didn’t seem worth it.

Then I remembered GitHub Pages and the fact that it supports Jekyll. GitHub would provide free hosting, and Jekyll would allow me to blog by simply committing markdown files.

Free hosting with custom domain support, plus being able to blog from my IDE? That sounded really good.

So I decided to give it a try. And with only 2 hours I got it up and running. (most of the time was spent deciding on the theme)

Now, here I am, writing my first post.

Conclusion (TL;DR)

If you are writing to help other developers, Medium, with its paywall and other limitations, doesn’t seem the right platform for it.

Dev.to and Hackernoon are good platforms for developers. And I definitely recommend those if you don’t want the trouble of hosting your blog, worrying about a theme, and so on.

But if you want the advantages of actually owning your content, without spending too much time setting up a host and configuring a blogging tool, GitHub Pages and Jekyll might be a good choice for you, and you can still use Dev.to and Hackernoon to share your content.