Grigor Yeghiazaryan

Software Developer and Designer

Why I Switched to Octopress

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I have tried all famous blogging platforms, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous. Every time switching from one to another I saw some benefits. But I was still unsatisfied. I’m perfectionist and always looking for better ways to accomplish things. Something was still missing. Until I realized what.

I wanted to separate content from representation, have more control over my data, better integration with 3rd party services and cheaper or free hosting.

And here you go. Octopress satisfies all these whims.

Octopress is based on Markdown. Markdown is set of conventions for formating text information. It’s designed for easy input and conversion to HTML or other formats. But it’s also readable in source form.

When I got some experience I decided to write all my documentation in Markdown. And blog is not an exception. It’s more convenient to type in Markdown rather than use different types of WYSIWYG editors.

Another side of using Markdown is separation of content from representation. If needed I can completely change how my posts are rendered. This type of flexibility is one of the things I was missing with other platforms.

With Octopress I can store my posts in Git. This does not only mean version control. I can also keep backups on different servers and migrate easily from one hosting to another when I want.

If I am going serious about blogging I want to be sure my write-ups are kept in a safe and accessible form. This feeling of ownership is another thing I was missing with other platforms.

Octopres requires only an HTTP server. In Octopress posts are stored in HTML files. There is no database. All content is served as static files. This boosts the performance significantly. Any simple and cheap hosting can do the job now. And there are some free options to get started, e.g. GitHub Pages or Heroku.

Octopress is usable out of the box. It comes with built-in integration with many 3rd party services. Comment out a few lines in configuration file and you get Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Disqus and other services connected to your blog.

Though default theme of Octopress looks very solid, we have full control over the look and feel of the site. Based on the design philosophy of Octopress and Jekyll (the static file generation engine) I would think that we have much more control that in any other platform. But I haven’t gone much into this yet. I still like the default theme.

I feel completely satisfied with Octopress now. And that feeling gives me additional motivation for new blog posts.