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HackAndStuff

Starting your First Blog

Productivity2 min read

Doing vs Thinking

I have spent my time on the endless questions like how should I get started for blog , which hosting platform should I choose ,which techstack to go for , how to get a cheap domain , should I use CMS or not , and I think you must have gone through it too .

In this post , I will tell you how I started the blog you are reading now, everything from buying a domain to writing your first post .Let's get Started.

Domain Name

Ok. First things first. You need a domain name (eventually!) for your website , blog whatever you plan on building. So I researched about websites that have cheap domains and fortunately , there are quite a few. The not so popular domains like .tk are even free! Namecheap , Hostinger , Dynadot are some of the major websites you will come across while looking for cheap domains .

The TLD's or Top Level Domains like .com , .org are obviously more expensive than other ones because they are more recognized and are trusted by most of the people.So, I decided to go ahead with a .com domain from Dynadot because

  • Their renewal charges were decent.
  • They provide free WHOIS privacy.

Hosting

There are a lot , like seriously a lot of websites that provide very cheap hosting . My goal was to get a free hosting, so I looked for sites that have free hosting available . The major options are Github Pages , Netlify , Firebase , Google Cloud . My priority while selecting was convenience . I don't want to deal with Deployment workflows , I just want to write content and then it should be accessible to public. Netlify is just for that . Create a netlify acount . Push your code to a github repo . Tell netlify to create a site from that repo . That's it. It will do all the heavy lifting for you . Every time you make a commit to the repo , it automatically deploys the updated site.

Techstack

Netlify mostly works with JAM stack i.e Javascript , API , and Markdown . It's not limited to it , ofcourse . Netlify can do a whole lot of cool things . I decided to go with JAM stack , but I didn't want to code my blog from scratch . So , I decided to use GATSBY . GATSBY is a static site generator that can save you from all the boilerplate setup for a blog and it renders your blog amazingly fast. Now, the best part about gatsby community is that there are lot of starters and themes available , so that you only have to write content and everything else , just falls in place . I personally liked the theme gatsby-starter-minimal-blog by Lekoarts , but you can checkout all the cool themes and starters here.

So I made some changes in the theme like updating siteMetaData , changing some links here and there, and I was good to go . Gatsby has an amazing documentation for everything you want to do .

Currently , I am writing my posts in markdown which gets converted to HTML (Gatsby magic !) , but as the blog grows , I will move on to a CMS eventually . I just like coloured boxes where I can write my content :) .

Random

Here is some react-live stuff, this has no relevance and I didn't mean to include it in this post honestly , but then the theme uses react-live and it looked cool . So , I mean , who cares ! No seriously , it's cool .

So, this is how I got started with my first blog and I hope it helped you to get started with yours. I am just starting , so I am not really good at organizing my content . So, you may have felt Dude this guy's train of thought is a bit too fast . Sorry for that .

And that's it.

Have a nice day and See ya later!

© 2021 by Jatin Malik. All rights reserved.