Blogger Describes Move from Squarespace to Ghost

    Blogger Chris Lloyd moved his blog from Squarespace to Ghost and is happy with Ghost. Still he shares Ghost’s negatives:

    • Bulk editing of posts - Maybe not essential when you are just starting, but you can’t bulk edit posts, for instance, to change tags. This functionality exists in WP and would be very helpful. I suspect you can do it if you are self-hosting or can code.
    • Images - It is primarily a text-based tool. So probably unfair to judge it on images, but there are two areas I find annoying. It does not store images you have used (like WP does), so if you want to use a separate post, you need to upload it again. There doesn’t seem to be a way to move an image from one post to another if you decide to combine two drafts. Only small things, but a little annoying.
    • Coding - Any changes to the theme require coding. That means you cannot edit anything if you don’t know how to code.
    • Links - Probably my ignorance, but I can not find a way to set it up, so external links open in a new tab.


    • No app - There is no native app for editing on your phone. Although it is relatively good on safari on a mobile

    Why Creating Links to Open New Browser Windows is Probably Not a Good Practice

    I want to thank Sven Dahlstrand for taking the time to explain to me why opening external links in a new tab is probably not a good practice. Sven helpfully referred me to a page written by usability experts   Jakob Nielsen and Anna Kaley explaining:

    Since 1999, it’s been a firm web-usability guideline to refrain from opening new browser windows for several reasons. All of these also apply to opening new browser tabs and are still valid today:

    • More windows or tabs increase the clutter of the user’s information space and require more effort to manage.
    • New windows or tabs can cause disorientation, with users often not realizing that a new window or tab has opened. This problem is exacerbated on mobile, where the old window is never visible.
    • Less-technical users struggle to manage multiple windows and tabs, especially on mobile. (On tablets, where users can have both multiple windows and tabs for the browser, it’s even more confusing.)
    • New windows or tabs prevent the use of the Back button for returning to the previous page and force the user to spend effort to find their way back to the previous content.
    • New windows or tabs are not inclusive for blind or low-vision users — especially when they open outside of the area that’s magnified.

    I had been opening external links in a new tab in the hope of keeping visitors on my site but I had not thought about the confusion this can cause, especially on mobile:

    Designers open new browser windows on the theory that it keeps users on their site. But even disregarding the user-hostile message implied in taking over the user’s machine, the strategy is self-defeating since it disables the _Back _button which is the normal way users return to previous sites. Users often don’t notice that a new window has opened, especially if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to fill the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be confused by a grayed-out _Back _button.

    Jakob Nielsen

    Blogger Explains Move from Squarespace to Ghost


    I decided to move my blog away from Squarespace. The main reason behind the move was that Squarespace is a full-fledged website builder and not necessarily focused on publishers. That meant, I had to deal with many unwanted problems. The biggest problem being the site speed. My website was incredibly slow on Squarespace and I wanted something fast and nimble.


    Since the backend of Squarespace is built to help you create a website with simple drag and drop tools, it is bloated. That means the backend is very slow and you will feel it every time you create a post.


    Another reason Squarespace is not good for publishers is website speed. Google punishes you heavily for a slow website, and my blog on Squarespace was excruciatingly slow. It constantly scored below 10 and 40, in mobile and desktop page speeds respectively. That not only means that Google was not ranking my articles, it also meant readers had a bad experience on my website.

    This completely jives with my experience. Jakob Nielsen, a web usability expert, explains that slow response times are the worst offender against web usability: “Users don’t care why response times are slow. All they know is that the site doesn’t offer good service: slow response times often translate directly into a reduced level of trust and they always cause a loss of traffic as users take their business elsewhere.”

    Blogging Makes My Writing Better

    Steve Hodgson explains why he blogs rather than just writing in a diary or a journal:

    I think the answer is that writing to publish, and the idea of someone reading it, helps me to make it the best writing I can. I don’t actually know how many people read these little articles but you (whether you are real or not) are important to help me distill these thoughts down to their essence.

    Steve has been blogging for more than ten years. He calls his blog “Sulluzzu” because it is his wife’s favorite word. It means hiccups which Steve says seems to fit with how regularly he updates his blog.

    It’s interesting to learn what motivates bloggers.

    Steve is on as @BestofTimes.

    Squarespace Sites and Google PageSpeed Insights

    Studio Mesa, a website that sells premium Squarespace templates, explains:

    Even with all the optimization in the world, Squarespace websites are doomed to a poorly-performing status due to it’s built-in CMS. To put it simply, Squarespace uses a Content Management System (CMS) to make it easy for users to build sites. Instead of writing code, you’re able to visually drag-and-drop blocks. This is great for designing, but this ease is what causes the performance to drop catastrophically. This is bad news for virtually ALL Squarespace users, no matter the version, amount of content, or efforts to optimize.

    Even so, today his site is on Squarespace

    ‘Getting back to actual blogging’

    Christina (CJ) Jones explains her blogging history and why she is resuming her blog in 2023:

    My first blog was on Blogger, then transitioned to Livejournal. I owe a lot to Livejournal. It’s where I found my passion in design, friends from different places and understanding a world outside of my small town in North Carolina. My writing was all over the place, mainly middle and high school angst, and I didn’t care what people thought of my when I wrote it. Here’s to tapping into that mindset again.

    Jones blogs on Squarespace. It’s a nice looking blog.

    Personal Websites Provide Creative Freedom

    Matthias Ott, a web designer from Stuttgart, on the value of personal websites:

    Your personal website is a place that provides immense creative freedom and control. It’s a place to write, create, and share whatever you like, without the need to ask for anyone’s permission. It is also the perfect place to explore and try new things, like different types of posts, different styles, and new web technologies. It is your playground, your platform, your personal corner on the Web.

    Blogging: ‘A Space of My Own’

    Vincent Ritter explaining why he blogs:

    This site acts as portal to my past and present self that one day I can look back on, on my steps forward and also missteps along the way. Life isn’t a straight road, so it’s nice to have a space of my own to share and reflect on.

    Blogging to Connect with Others Directly

    Kev Quirk engages with his readers via an email button at the end of each post. I like that because there is substance to the dialogue. You can’t get that by hitting a like button or through anonymous comments. Kev explains:

    I enjoy writing content on here, and I love engaging with people who read my content. So it’s win/win. If something crops up within my email conversations with readers, that I think is worth sharing, I will always ask the person if they’re happy for me to share, then post an update. So other readers get the benefit of those conversations too.

    ‘Let’s bring back the blog.’

    Alan Jacobs writing on his blog entitled The Homebound Symphony:

    [W]hile many of the old-school blogs are dead and gone, a surprising number of them remain active, and still have a multitude of commenters. In turns out that social media did not kill blogs, but just co-opted the discourse about blogs. Once journalists got addicted to Twitter, they stopped paying attention to what was happening elsewhere — but that didn’t stop it from happening._


    I don’t want to bring back the blogosphere, I definitely want to bring back the blog._


    [T]his is the time for people to rediscover the pleasures of blogging – of writing at whatever length you want, and posting photos, and embedding videos, and linking to music playlists, all on your little corner of the internet._

    Let’s bring back the blog. And leave all the bad things spawned by the blogosphere to social media, where they belong. 

    Have Your Own Space on the Internet

    Om on big publishing platforms:

    No matter how often this happens, we don’t learn our lessons — we continue to till other people’s proverbial land and keep using their social spaces. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Medium, we get trapped in the big platforms because they dangle the one big carrot in front of our eyes: the reach, the audience, and the influence._

    And we keep doing their bidding — they use our social networks, our work, and our attention — and, in the process, help make their networks gigantic and indispensable. We become pawns in their end game. And then they change the rules of the game — after all, if you own the league, you make the rules._

    I have known the truth about social platforms. I quit Facebook and Instagram years ago, and candidly I am better for it. I don’t need 5000 friends — 15 good ones will do. And as far as sharing photos — I am happy that I have about a thousand people interested in my photographic work instead of 100,000 followers on Instagram.

    Blogging for the Joy of Sharing

    Simon Reynolds writing in The Guardian explains that he started blogging in 2002 and he will never stop blogging, even if if it’s an outdated format. It’s even ok with him if nobody reads his blog:

    I’ve resisted the idea of going the Substack or newsletter route. If I were to become conscious of having a subscriber base, I’d start trying to please them. And blogging should be the opposite of work. But if it’s not compelled, blogging is compulsive: an itch I have to scratch. And for every post published, there are five that never get beyond notepad scrawls or fumes in the back of my mind.

    Blogging Platforms

    Jason Velazquez recently shared a handy list of blogging platforms, many of which are unfamiliar to me.

    Blog About Whatever You Want to Share

    Ben Werdmuller on what you should write about on your blog:

    Whatever you want to share. That’s the long answer and the short answer.

    What you shouldn’t worry about is whether what you’re sharing is valuable. If you want to share it, it’s inherently valuable: a reflection of who you are and how you think about the world.

    If you want to use it to build a business, then do that. If you want to share more about yourself, then do that. There are no wrong answers.

    ‘Blog your heart out!’

    Robin Rendle explains why he thinks it’s worth blogging:

    Ignore the analytics and the retweets though. There will be lonely, barren years of no one looking at your work. There will be blog posts that you adore that no one reads and there’ll be blog posts you spit out in ten minutes that take the internet by storm. How do you get started though? Well, screw the research! A blog post can anything, a half-thought like this one or a grandiose essay with a million footnotes. It can look like anything, too: you can have a simple HTML-only website or you can spend a month on the typography, getting every letter-spaced part of it just right.

    There are no rules to blogging except this one: always self-host your website because your URL, your own private domain, is the most valuable thing you can own. Your career will thank you for it later and no-one can take it away. But don’t wait up for success to come, it’s going to be a slog—there will be years before you see any benefit. But slowly, with enough momentum behind it, your blog will show you the world: there will be distant new friends, new enemies, whole continents might open up and welcome themselves to you.

    Or maybe they won’t. But you’ll never know unless you write that half-assed thing that’s in your head right now.

    Starting Small

    Sophia Efthimiatou, head of writer relations at Substack, explains that it’s ok to start writing with a small audience:

    You would think known writers with large audiences have it easy here, but the pressure to succeed is felt more among them. The stakes are low if you are not at all known. There is no audience to lose, only one to gain. And gain you will. Perhaps when you start your only subscribers will be your best friend, your lonely neighbor, and your aunt–who can’t even read English. And then, one day, a fourth subscriber will roll in, a total stranger. That person will be there just to read you.

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