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The easiest ways to start your own personal website

Back in the early days of blogging, launching your own website required quite a bit of knowledge and a quite long list of steps to complete. If you didn’t know what to do, it felt a bit intimidating. I know, I learned how to do it—mostly through trial and (lots of) error.

Part of that angst was not just in setting up the server correctly, but also in not knowing exactly how to style your webpages to make them look the way you want them to. It required research, learning, tinkering, and troubleshooting. Not an impossible task, but definitely a task.

That’s one of the reasons that social media platforms took off. The early platforms made it easy to just…post, and got lucky by doing so right at the crucial moment that smartphones became a thing (this was before they started enshittifying everyone’s experience, of course).

These days, however, there are a whole bunch of super-simple platforms that make it as just as easy to start a blog as signing up for a new social media account. But with all the countless advantages owning your own website provides.

Simple blog sites

If you’re used to social media and you want something dead simple to use, these are the best platforms to start with. They offer a very simple editing experience—just the basics—that allows you to focus on writing, and not get hung up on how the page will look. You can usually add some static pages, categories or tags, and they offer an rss feed too. All the basics you need for a solid website! There are probably other similar options, but these are the ones I know about and have investigated a bit.

Take a quick look at each, but don’t worry too much about your choice. You can’t go wrong with any of these options. Just choose one, register your own domain, and get started.


Super easy to use, you get three sites for $5/mo or $50/year. The cool thing here is that it integrates well with tinylytics (if you want fun web stats) and letterbird (a cut and paste contact form—see below for mine). Scribbles is great, I’m a member.


Another super easy to use service, this one offers a few additional customization options. The company behind it is really fun. I could have easily chosen Pika before I signed up for Scribbles.


For $5/mo, Blot turns a folder into a website. Files in the folder be­come posts and pages on your website. This all works a bit differently than the other platforms, but is a great solution for many.


Free, barebones (bearbones? just the bear necessities?) blogging platform that lets you post without worrying about design. It’s basically just black text on a white page—super simple. You can even connect your own domain name, which is astoundingly cool for a free platform like this. Their fun logo is some weird text: ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Another great option if you’re interested in a simple design that focuses on your words more than design. With a paid account for $6/mo, you also get newsletter and photo hosting functionality too.

Super interesting options


Micro.Blog is a combination of social media and a blog and is unlike anything else you’ve used. You can cross-post to a bunch of platforms, including mastodon, bluesky, medium, flickr and more. It’s also its own social community and offers a bunch of other interesting features and dedicated apps. And if you subscribe to the “Pro” version for $10/mo, you can also host your own podcast and newsletter. I’m a member.

Ok look, this site is hard to describe. It’s exactly what was fun about the early web. I’m a member. You can build a simple blog here, but you do need to follow some simple instructions, at least when you first start. It’s only $20/yr and comes with some interesting features—a statuslog, mastodon instance, and profile/links page…among other things.


Publii is a free desktop app is a “static site generator” that builds a set of website files that you then upload to the web (which is just a single click after you set it up). You can connect it to a variety of online web servers—several of which are free to use—and publish your site there. There are also some free and paid themes and plugins to extend your site’s design and functionality.

Why simple websites are awesome

While more complex web platforms (I’m looking at you, WordPress) are extremely popular, they also over-complicate things for many users.

Most people don’t need even a fraction of those features, and that complexity comes at a cost.

Not only is it harder to focus on just writing, but the unused functionality also costs more because it requires more server resources, invites mischief from spammers and hackers, and can be just plain annoying to constantly manage. I know…this site has been running WordPress since it launched.

If I was starting completely fresh today, I’d choose one of the options above to get started, even if I moved to something more complex later.

Tell me about your new site!

Sold? Go sign up somewhere, write a post, and tell me about it. I’ll be your first reader!

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