Edit: I’ve chosen a web-presence and written about it here.

Over the years, I’ve had my personal web presence hosted on a myriad of platforms and services. Things have changed a lot since Geocities.

I’ve experimented with a few different publishing platforms, and hope to commit to a few services for my specific needs.

jwie.be is my primary personal & tech presence on the web. It’s currently hosted on Svbtle. I’ve been enjoying the format so far, but as a designer, I feel constricted by the lack of customisation options. I could just as easily use josiah.svbtle.com and point jwie.be to something else.

josiahwiebe.net currently points to my Tumblr, which has been around for quite some time. I’ve gone through many theme changes and upgrades. It seems to be more of a gathering place; I collect images, post random thoughts, links, etc. Not all of the content is original (and this seems to be the norm for the common Tumblr user). This could easily use josiahwiebe.tumblr.com and use josiahwiebe.net for something else.

My requirements:

  1. Easy to use
  • It’s not difficult for me to operate complex CMS setups. I just don’t want to. One of the things I’ve loved about Svbtle so far is the focus on pure writing. No fluff.
  1. Markdown Editor
  • Since I’ve started using Markdown, I don’t think I can go back. Beautifully simple syntax.
  1. Customisation
  • I like using third-party services on my websites. It needs to be simple to integrate things such as Cloud.typography and Bigfoot.js.
  1. Portfolio
  • None of my current web presences have my portfolio displayed; it’s currently scattered across Bēhance, Dribbble and Collectif.
  1. Price
  • This isn’t a key factor, but I don’t really want to spend too much. Svbtle and Tumblr are both currently hosting my sites for free. Hosting a static website on Siteleaf & AWS can be very cost effective.

I’ve narrowed my options down to four services; Svbtle, Tumblr, Siteleaf / Statamic (static file CMS) or Squarespace. Here’s a brief table of some of the pros & cons.

Service Pros Cons
Svbtle Fast, clean, fairly well known. No customisation. I don’t feel like I own my content.
Tumblr Social features. Popular, so lots of themes & support. Social features. No full control.
Siteleaf / Statamic Total control. Beautiful editor. Time required to create the website. Cost (hosting + CMS cost)
Squarespace Great themes. Easy to use. Price. Lack of customisation (difficult to implement Bigfoot.js, cloud.typography, etc.

I’ve decided that there are two routes to take:

Unified Website

This would display both the blog, portfolio, contact info, etc all on one site. I could use any of my existing domains or purchase an additional one. We’re currently using Siteleaf for a number of sites at Collectif, and it’s proven to be amazing. The developers are wonderful and it’s just a joy to use.

Services: Siteleaf, Statamic or Squarespace

Separate Entities

Implement a static site for my portfolio, cheaply hosted on S3 and keep my blog on a hosted platform.

Services: Siteleaf or custom build + Svbtle or Tumblr

I’m currently leaning toward the Unified option, but my time is limited and I’m still finishing up my new family website, so it might have to wait. Another post detailing the development and deployment of that site is in the works, so stay tuned!

I feel like there’s a lot on the table here– so many good options to choose from. I haven’t made a decision yet, but I hope to soon. Let me know what your thoughts at hi [at] jwie.be or on Twitter @josiahwiebe.

Social features are both a negative and a positive. They can be nice, but also intrusive.