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.

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  1. Richard Hemmer
    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.
  2. Johannes Ecker
    I think “a tiny bit of console action” and “non-techie friendly” do not overlap :D
  3. Max Böck
    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.
  4. Richard Hemmer
    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.
  5. Richard Hemmer
    Yeah, once it's set up, updates etc are all done automatically. They do offer managed plans, too.
  6. Max Böck
    exactly. if the first step is anything other than "click the shiny button", you'll lose people instantly
  7. mkalina
    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.
  8. Max Böck
    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.
  9. Matthew Roach
    You should check out @microdotblog - think they only missing the domain name part