Yet Another Custom Blog
The initial intention of this post was a technical summary about how this blog works. Somehow the writing went into another direction and is now contemplating about why anyone would even spend hours building yet another custom blog (YACB) instead of just using one of the existing blogging platforms.
Since years, I wanted to self-host a blog, because self hosting seems to be the only way to keep control over what exactly is served to your potential readers. What exactly is meant by ‘exactly served’?
Ready made platforms obviously do not change the content of your writing (not yet!), but they are - and kind of have to be - opinionated about all the surroundings of your writing. This starts with
- very visible decisions like the basic layout (colors, fonts, etc), continues with
- obscure business decisions, because somehow each platform provider must pay their bills even though the provider probably does not receive any cash from their actual bloggers.
When you fully agree or do not care about these decisions, then the provider model is unbeatable convenient. You can create a free account and are virtually ready to go. Having no control over the surrounding technicalities can be beneficial (or even very beneficial) for your focus on writing.
Still managed services are very annoying once you disagree with the provider opinions. Ya, you can customize the looks and tweak the behavior with plugins, but this road leads away from easy-peasy-land and still does never arrive in my-home-is-my-castle-vania. Okay, this might sound very fluffy in your ears. ‘What is wrong with focusing on content creation instead of wasting time with reinventing (and maintaining) the wheel?’ you might think. Honestly, nothing is wrong about that. In fact, I believe managed services are the most viable model we have for the vast majority of users so far.
A more everyday life analogy might be photography: It is amazing to have an automatic camera that controls almost all parameters for you, so you only need to press one button. Still, there are millions of people who spend a lot of money (and time) on cameras that are less convenient to use. Sometimes the wish to control the process of capturing a scenery on paper goes to irrational length. Maybe the same irrationality is involved here as well. :)