Self-hosted blogging platforms: issues, wishlist?

We’re getting close to the launch of Write Freely, our open-source / self-hosted version of So I wanted to get everyone’s feedback on what they’d like to see in a self-hosted blogging platform. So far we’re addressing these issues:

  • Open, well-documented API
  • Easy to install: no Docker or external dependencies required, besides a database
  • Simple, maintainable code: written in Go, <10k LOC
  • Lightweight and fast: can run on a Raspberry Pi, no JS frameworks or complicated editors


  • Simple UX, made just for blogging (not a full-featured CMS)
  • Single-user mode for running your own blog
  • Multi-user mode for creating a community of blogs, like Medium
  • Federation via ActivityPub
  • Data portability: export all posts as plain text, or with metadata that can be imported on another Write Freely instance (including

And in the future, we’ll have:

  • First-party app support on Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Chrome via extension, Windows/Mac/Linux via command-line, and Linux via GUI desktop app
  • Support for publishing via Micropub
  • Import from various blogging platforms


What else would you like to see in your ideal blogging platform? Plugins? Themes? More features around SEO?

What is missing from other self-hosted blogging platforms you’ve used before?

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  • An easy way to customize/theme is a must for me, but nothing too fancy or complicated, just a couple of basic “starter” themes that allow for easy CSS customizability (much like current functionality in, but more powerful)
  • Easy linking and image upload.
  • A couple of basic templates, maybe for an About page or Contact page (or a /now page), etc.
  • A very basic menu feature beyond pinned posts would be cool, to allow links to social, other pages/sites, etc.
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Thanks, this is great to know :+1: For the page templates (e.g. About or Contact), were you thinking those pages should have a different design than what normal post pages have?

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I think a different design would be cool, but not too different (if that makes any sense?). Perhaps offering a different layout option (e.g., different menu location/collapsed menu, different header, a sidebar [if they’re into that kind of thing]) or that offer slightly different functionality than a regular post page. I’m kind of thinking how your main page on looks slightly different from your pricing page and about page.

But also, maybe take all this with a grain of salt, because the more I think about what this feature would look like, the more I think the functionality already exists at a basic level in :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s great that it doesn’t depend on Docker.

However, it would help me out a whole lot if there was a Docker option available, since I run a Swarm to handle deployment of personal projects and websites.

I mean, I can always just build an image myself, but having an official image would make life easier.

Depending on what’s needed to maintain that image, this might be doable. I’m personally not that familiar with Docker, so if someone with more knowledge than me could contribute the initial image, I can see what maintaining it would look like.

Yeah, people might be able to work around it as everything is right now, but we can always evolve as we see how people are actually using the software over time, and add something like that if we need to :slight_smile:

I might contribute that initial image, then. But I’ll need to get it working first.

I test Write Freely on my local machine for now, everything works great, but when I press customize option It gets me Server error page. Not sure why.
Will be awesome in future versions to have custom translation options to localize and personilize our instance!

I think you should pay attention to the SEO more. Your blog must be optimized not only for the user, but for the algorithms as well. So, stuff like adding keywords, link baits and writing meta description should make a difference for you.