While I applaud the new wave of people publishing on their own blogs, I still feel this is too hard to do for non-tech folks. Here’s what I’d love to see:
A platform that includes
- free hosting
- the ability to buy a custom domain
- a simple CMS for writing posts
- an integrated RSS feed reader to “follow” your friends
- a “content stream” showing recent posts of blogs you subscribed to
- webmention support - see reactions to your post
- the ability to get it all up and running without ever touching code
I think Netlify / NetlifyCMS checks a lot of these boxes, but still requires some tech knowledge, i.e. you need to have a git repo and understand some of the basic concepts (“deploy”, “build”, “static”…)
Ideally, I’d like a page with a big “start your own blog” button, and a process that’s just as easy as signing up for Facebook.
- I agree. There is @cloudron_io, which I use for most of my self hosting needs. Not quite as straightforward as what you're proposing, but apart from the setup process, which needs a tiny bit of console action, it's very non-techie friendly.
- I think “a tiny bit of console action” and “non-techie friendly” do not overlap :D
- exactly. if the first step is anything other than "click the shiny button", you'll lose people instantly
- Haha, you're not wrong. It's very well documented, though. Ideally, people find their one techie-friend, have them set it up and it's all smooth sailing from here. It's got good user management too, so basically people could have their own self-hosted hubs.
- ah, did not know that one! yeah I feel like all the parts for this are in place; just needs a bit of behind-the-scenes magic to make the setup easier.
- Yeah, once it's set up, updates etc are all done automatically. They do offer managed plans, too.
- I wanted to say that you describe wp.com exactly, but you have already excluded it. Ads - ok, but „not owning your content“ is false: you can export posts and pages as a XML-file and do whatever you want with it then. You can even redirect your domain.
- true. the option to get your content out in some form is important (that's even possible with twitter/medium currently). I meant that you're tied to the success/failure of wpcom as a platform - if you host yourself, you're more independent.