Arjun Badola

Less is more

NOTE: This is a journal type post for my use to later introspect my decisions after few months.

I have been writing on this blog for almost 1.5 years now and within this span I have shifted my blog platform four times.

The last two shift were very time consuming as the number of articles had reached above 40.

Shifting your blog is annoying process.

You might be thinking that all platforms allow shifting, and it shouldn’t be that hard but that’s true only for popular platforms.

The idea of having a blog came when I realized that I wanted to clear my mind through repeating thoughts and did not want to repeat something again and again for explaining it to different people.

This was further motivated when I received very negative criticism from someone. So, I wanted to unleash my anger somewhere. Therefore, I wrote the first blog post: “Criticism: why people get defensive”

It worked! I felt like I had expressed myself while introspecting my thoughts again while writing. It was a good activity overall. Since, then I have been anchored on the idea.

Shift #1: From WordPress(.com) to WordPress(.org)

WordPress is the most popular blogging site.

If someone is starting out, most probably you will be using it.

So, I started with WordPress(.com) and initially liked it as it was cheap and had the essential features. But soon, I got the urge to explore blogging more deeply.

What I mean by that is I got so much into this idea that I started thinking about making money through it.

I researched and realized that I would need SEO optimization, email list, etc. (all marketing related stuff). To get this stuff, instead of paying more money to WordPress(.com) to unlock these features, I decided to shift my blog to WordPress(.org) as it is free and unlocks all the features. You only have to pay for the third party hosting you take.

I spent 2 months on WordPress(.com) and around 8-10 months on WordPress(.org)

This was going fine until…

Shift #2: From WordPress(.org) to Notion

WordPress(.org) is quite a good platform if someone wants to make a website for commercial purposes. But that was the exact problem with it.

I had got indulged into blogging so much and I had started neglecting other aspects of my life.

My focus had shifted from investing and my college studies towards bringing in more audience on my blog!

I have expressed this feeling in one of my previous essays, “Losing Focus”.

Here is what I wrote there:

“I was more interested in people subscribing to my email list and that would give me dopamine hit (Just like how it happens with likes on social media). I got so lost in this chase of email list that I would spend more time thinking about how to get a bigger audience instead of learning about companies and investing. Subconsciously, paying more attention to building an audience led me to settling down in other field of my life.”

This was the phase I decided to knock everything out and quit running behind building an audience.

So, I shifted my blog to Notion which is free (as I am a student) and discontinued my domain name.

But Notion came with its own set of problems.

Shift #3: From Notion to Posthaven

There were majorly two problems with notion:

  1. It was very slow
  2. I hated the URL link.

Second problem could have been solved if I repurchased my domain name and connected it with my notion website. But I could not find solution for the first problem.

The slowness of the blog really annoyed me, and I was not keen in solving the URL problem as at that time my goal was to keep the cost at zero.

Therefore, when both the problems came together, I decided to switch once again.

I discovered Posthaven which a start-up funded by Y Combinator and as I liked thoughts of Paul Graham and Sam Altman (who even has his personal blog on it) I got convinced for making the switch.

Shift #4: From Posthaven to GitHub Pages

Posthaven was great. Till date, I have no issues with their blogging platform (except one).

If you are not into monetizing your blog, I would highly recommend this platform.

It matches with the example of “Less is More”. It removes the options of plugins, provides only 3-5 themes, no update/maintenance required, No SEO option, etc.

Here is what I had tweeted earlier: link

On paper it looks like the experience would be pathetic. But less options really made writing clutter free.

Posthaven just simplified every aspect of blogging. (Just like IOS does by not giving user many options)

The experience was just clean and simple. Focused on writing.

But why did I switch? Their payment system does not work!

This is the most stupid reason I have ever faced for shifting my blog.

Posthaven gave me so many problems for making the payment.

First, they do not accept debit cards. Second, even when I used credit card, it did work for 2 months but then payment kept failing.

This can be easily solved if they take payment annually. I do not really understand what in this universe is stopping them to do so.

Finally, after being frustrated from constant reminder of payment being failed, I had to switch again.

Current Status

Yesterday, I dedicated my whole day to fixing this problem by learning a bit of GitHub pages and completed the process of making the switch.

Now, it is just a plain static website where I have taken the “Less is More” concept to much deeper levels.

Only thing which this blog has is my posts (and a About page).

It took a lot of effort to build a github pages website but I believe that it was just the upfront effort which I had to put in. Now, effort for adding new post is minimal.

I still have not decided on whether I should have an email list on this new platform.

If I find a plugin which is free and easy then I would lean in favour of having one but so far there is no such plan. I believe Twitter will do the job of notifying people for now.

I hope this post helps someone to decide which platform to choose while setting up their blog.