Prosaic: an intentionally simple, static blogging platform (prosaic.blog)
over 2 years ago from John Quealy, Product Designer
over 2 years ago from John Quealy, Product Designer
I may not be a primary target as I would only use it occasionally, as an alternative to Medium, when I need to publish something that does not fit the content of the websites I own. There's two things that instantly turn me off: 1) The monthly subscription. I understand the running costs would be on a monthly basis, and people who want to start a blog may be fine with that, but myself, no way I am going to pay regularly for something that I may use occasionally. 2) Not enough details on the features available, e.g. SEO. Other than that, I did like the tagline "intentionally simple" and I think this has potential. I am not a big fun of Medium but could not find a substitute that would be easy enough to use, worry-free. I could even pay for a tier of article available, but again, not on a regular basis and not too much.
In order to allow people to try it out, we have decided to make it free to signup and publish your first blog post. That way you have all the time you need to draft content and set up your blog before subscribing. You only need to upgrade to a paid account ($5) when you are ready to publish the rest of your content. So feel free to give it a try!
This weekend we released our second theme, Paper! It comes with a few color customization options for now, including an optional light and dark mode. But we are curious to discover how users will want to customize their themes.
I am excited to try the service but without additional screenshots, I am not willing to pay outright. I need to see the controls for the design, and the settings for domain, if they are available. . If it's just going to be a sub-domain, then what is the incentive to say, switch from Substack?
I am glad to hear that you are excited to try it out! We are still debating on whether or not to support a trial period, but I will definitely work on presenting more of the product on the website this week. And maybe even adding a demo. So stay tuned!
I realized I didn't even mention that we allow custom domains! And they are actually core to the values of our product. We want our presence to be non-existent on your blog. Unlike Substack we aren't trying to build our brand through our customers. Your content and site are yours and only yours.
This week we are focused on how we want customizations and theming to work. We actually designed the product so that any SSG theme can be used on our service, but we would probably want to be opinionated about which ones we might offer if we go that route.
hey John, Thanks for reaching out. Absolutely, I am just looking for a focused service with great writing experience and simple domain set-up, customization. A s a product designer, I just want to showcase my thoughts and case-studies.
Yea I found myself in the same situation for creating a portfolio but finally ended up creating something from scratch with a SSG. There are some services aimed at the specific needs of portfolios and presenting case studies. Uxfol.io, Format, Carbonmade, and Semplice come to mind but I am sure there are ton more.
Static site generators are an "easy" way to start an independent blog or website but getting started still requires a lot of technical expertise. So we started with the idea of removing the overhead of getting it set up by running a hosted version of Jekyll, like WordPress(.com) or Ghost(Pro).
While there are plenty of options for using a headless CMS with a static site generator, they typically aren't designed to be an end-to-end hosted solution aimed at non-developer users. And their editors tend to mimic a traditional CMS, falling somewhere between a simple what-you-see-is-never-what-you-get and an overly complicated drag-and-drop experience.
For the design of our editing experience, we have taken inspiration from Ghost (1.0) and note-taking applications like Evernote or Notion because we want it to feel content-focused and personal.
Just wondering—why do you even position it as a "static site generator"? What if a customer is not a developer? Maybe you could position it differently as a super simple and super fast wordpress alternative.
That is fair, we shouldn't assume that users understand what a static site generator is (or that they need to know at all) but should instead highlight the resulting benefits like speed, security, and portability.
On one end you get an Evernote/Notion/Bear style editor and on the other you get a reliably fast and personal feeling website.
Totally agree with this. I know what "the power of a static site generator" is because I built my site on Gatsby/Netlify, but that also means I don't need this service. The target market should be people that want something fast, simple and secure but don't necessarily care what "static site generator" means.
p.s. Love the website! The black/white simplicity perfectly matches the value prop in the header
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