Web hosting for my homepage
For my first WOP cohort, I set up a personal homepage using Webflow. It cost $192 to host a blog. At first it seemed neat. It was a nice balance to build a website without having to code every single thing, but also not cookie cutter layouts that give you no flexibility. The builder was powerful, and I didn’t use it to its full abilities.
However, the CMS system for writing the blog articles was more limited than I would have liked. It didn’t use markdown. Copying from Notion didn’t preserve formatting completely. It didn’t support nested bullet points or code blocks, both of which I wanted. I found workarounds by adding custom code to parse the text as markdown. Of course, this was not ideal, as the raw markdown syntax is what would show in reader apps. I also had some trouble separating my articles by category (written article vs tech guide) without having to do extra work to duplicate.
I didn’t renew Webflow after that year. Then I tried Notion hosting, like Fruition and Potion.so. But these did not give let me have standard blog headers and footers. I tried workarounds with synced blocks, but having to manually put these on every page was not something I wanted to do when it should be automatic.
There are free ways to host simple, static websites, but this required some coding knowledge. I have trouble trying to get things perfect just how I want with those, and give up. Plus, it takes a lot of time to learn and troubleshoot, because I seem to always run into edge cases with what I want.
So I went with Ghost last October. It’s slightly more affordable at $11. But I only have like 4-5 full blog articles. I just don’t write enough to make it worth it. Working in Notion is so easy, but the editors for Webflow and Ghost are not, though Ghost supports markdown.
Today, I made a full backup of my Ghost data into Notion. I discovered which uses Notion’s recently released API to host on Vercel, which I’m familiar with. It won’t work the way I want for my Ship Its, but it seems it’s a great place to park my blog articles and about page for free.
Ideally, I want free, static hosting, with full database display for my Ship Its. Until then, I’ll just keep using Notion, since it’s frictionless to “publish” on a daily basis.