Switching to Bear Blog
Almost a year ago, I moved my blog to Hugo. This was because, at the time, I was paying $11 a month to host my personal blog via Ghost, and I ultimately didn't need all of the features of Ghost, and instead went looking for a cheaper solution.
Initially, I was thinking of hosting Ghost on a Digital Ocean Droplet ($5 a month), but felt that $5 a month was still too much, and ended up looking into Static Site Generators and using something like Netlify.
Ultimately, that is what I ended up doing, and in November of 2022, I migrated my blog from Ghost to Hugo.
Hugo Was Good
Hugo was a fairly straightforward static site generator. I think the hardest aspect of it was getting some themes to work with my blog.
It was fast. Build times only took a few minutes once I made a commit to my gitlab repository to when it was available to be seen on my blog.
But, I wasn't a huge fan of relying on Netlify for "free" hosting.
The Search for Something New
Lately, a large number of Software as a Service providers have been raising prices, removing free tiers, and/or lowering the performance of their free tiers.
With that in mind, I thought that maybe it is best that I either switch to self-hosting my blog on my own hardware or a VPS, or switch to a paid blogging solution.
Since I decided that I wanted to make this move, I also thought of using something that has a CMS, so I do not have to rely on the clunky system of writing a blog post, pushing it to a git repository, and then waiting for it to build and display on my website.
Although it worked perfectly fine for a personal blog, it limited my ability to write new blog posts to solely when I am on my personal laptop which has the git repository pulled down, and the proper SSH Key. I wanted to use a CMS where I could write a blog post from my phone or another computer if I wanted too.
One CMS that piqued my interest was Kirby. This was brought to my attention because another blogger that I followed recently switched his blog over to Kirby.
Kirby looked good. It was almost exactly what I was looking for. But, I couldn't see spending $100 on something that I would have to continue to host on a VPS for an additional monthly cost. So, as much as I liked Kirby, I decided to set that thought process behind, and continue looking.
Coming across Bear Blog
Soon after, I came across a blog post that I was enjoying. Once I reached the end of it, I noticed it had a notice stating that their blog was "Made with Bear."
I clicked on the link, and it brought me to Bear Blog, which I have previously known about, but haven't put much thought into it.
However, this time, as I was looking at it, I realized it was perfect for what I was trying to do. For quite some time now, I have slowly been minimizing the bandwidth footprint of my blog.
Bear Blog is just as minimal, if not more minimal than what my blog was when it was on Hugo.
I decided to sign up for a free account just to check it out, and it was perfect. It provides a Home Page editor, a nav bar editor, a post/page editor, a theme editor, and some analytics.
The best part about it, I understood how to use it almost instantly. Because of my time using Hugo and writing with Markdown, I was able to get right to using Bear blog. After a few short minutes of looking around, I decided that I would move my blog over to Bear Blog.
So, yesterday after work, I loaded up my newly created Bear Blog, subscribed to the paid plan for $5, and started migrating all my posts over.
After a few hours, I was able to get all my posts moved over, and now today, this blog post is the first official blog post typed up exclusively using Bear Blog's simple Markdown editor. And I love it!
I look forward to using Bear Blog in the future and I recommend that anyone looking to start a blog to check out Bear Blog if you are unsure what blogging solution to use!