Bubble Foundry

No BS Blogging System

by Peter.

I’m really unsatisfied with the current blogging/simple CMS options out there right now. I use WordPress myself but and its API is the perfect proof of why people hate PHP.

Here’s what I want:

  • Simple output (static pages?), simple input (admin section more like Tumblr’s than WordPress)
  • Easy to organze stand-alone pages vs in a blog stream
  • Simple text input: Markdown or HTML- Code highlighting
  • Simple media upload: save locally or on S3
  • Simple homepage control: blog stream or a single page/post

Tumblr meets most of these requirements (simple, good looking themes, very easy for people to post, etc) and it’s been what I now recommend to everyone looking for a simple website or blog (I use it myself for mustardreviews.com). For instance, I helped my friends Roos put up her own website using Tumblr and it was great how much she was able to do despite not having much experience with blogging software. However, Tumblr’s text formatting options are a little too limiting even in basic blog posts (and I’d love to see something like Markdown support).

However, where Tumblr is really unfriendly are in a few common use-cases:

  • Have a static page as the homepage instead of a reverse chronological list of posts. I see lots of people wanting this – heck, I have this on this site – but as far as I can tell it’s impossible to do on Tumblr.
  • Pages. Oh pages! Tumblr is horrible at them. Yes they exist and yes they have the same interface as normal text posts. However, there are a TON of problems:
    1. You can only access them when ‘customizing’ the blog. They’re treated as a total afterthought rather than content just as important as the regular blog posts. Pages should be treated as content, not style or settings.
    2. Creating and editing a page opens up the page interface in a small popup window. AND THE INPUT FORM CANNOT BE RESIZED! So are pages supposed to only have 140 characters? Anything more and you spend more time scrolling than authoring content. It’s like you’re squinting through a a telescope at your page content.
    3. You can’t upload any media other than photos when editing a page.
  • There is no way to have nice category pages. The tag pages are a bit too rough.

Given the reservations I would love to find something like Tumblr but just a little bit better. Mumblr sounds promising (and Harry’s site looks great) but, frankly, I tried a few months ago to set it up and didn’t get very far. I guess I should try again.

Do you know anything that meets my requirements? Should I just need to write what I want myself?