After using and loving rwtxt for about a year, I decided I wanted more granular control of my blog, in both its content and styles. The only reasonable answer seemed to be to use a static site generator, but the typical utilization of one entails usage of a text editor to write content (Sublime Text, VSCode, Atom, etc.) While this is an OK experience, I got really spoiled by the web-based, built-in editor of rwtxt which made updating and creating new content trivial on desktop and mobile.
In addition, I had a few other requirements for my new blogging platform:
- Needed to be free. I rarely create content, and I can't justify paying money for a shitty anonymous blog like this.
- Needed the ability to add custom styles. rwtxt allowed global styles, but it would be applied to every page. I wanted control of my stylesheets and directory structure
- Needed a web-based editor/cms. This is the hardest part. Netlify CMS is the only one I've been able to find.
After exploring and learning how to use zola, I put together the template, contents, styles, and modified the homepage to give room for the blog pagination. I wanted to keep zeit's pretty
now.sh domain, so the Netlify deploy step includes using the now CLI to deploy the static site to
now.sh, as well as deploying to Netlify at keb.netlify.com which is a nice bonus to have a mirror site I won't have to update separately.
After setting everything up, I can confidently say things work well. But not well enough. And that lies almost entirely with Netlify CMS. The editor is buggy and slow. The Content Manager gives BARELY any customization for how to view my blog entries. As I write this entry, the editor fails to scroll with me as I write content that overflows on the y axis.
It seems my next step will be to find a CMS that interfaces with Github, which is where the code for this site lives (please see github.com/keb/keb.now.sh if you're interested).
For now this will do.
So I have found out about prose.io and it almost perfectly suits my need. Unfortunately, the project is currently unmaintained, with its last commit being in November 2018. But the editor is significantly superior to Netlify CMS. Will likely keep using this and will consider contributing to improve it for my own needs.
I have completely ditched Netlify CMS in favor of prose.io. While there is an extra step in that I have to manually add the front-matter to every content file, the control I have over the site repository is refreshing, the editor is leagues ahead of Netlify CMS, and the speed is really remarkable. Using the
page.slug variable from zola, I'm able to quickly reference the appropriate URL for any given content
.md file in prose.io. Consider me almost perfectly satisfied. As I said before, I may consider contributing to prose.io in the future. It truly is a great project, and I'm sad to see its current state.
EDIT 3: After using prose.io for about a week and loving its editor, I've decided to just use the built-in Markdown editor included with Github, due to the constant authorization issues I have with prose.io