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This morning I experienced site envy

I committed to the Ghost platform for my personal blog this week. But I started to question my decision when I saw what you can do with this other platform.

2 min read
This morning I experienced site envy
Joel Gascoigne's minimalist, clean personal website.

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In the course of my morning, I was looking at some other sites built on the Ghost platform.

I was looking at Steph Smith's site.

Then I came across this guy Andy Yang's site, which is a basic Ghost blog with a nice design.

But then I stumbled on a fellow named Joel Gascoigne's site (founder of an interesting company in Boulder called Buffer, who provide social media management tools - including these free start.pages.) and experienced some site envy.

I want my website/blog to be the simplest, most stripped down, essentials-only experience possible.

I think his site accomplishes that.

At first I thought it was another Ghost site, but then I realized it was made with a cool platform called Eleventy (11ty).

It's a techy static site generator. It's really fast and lightweight and seems to be highly flexible.

Here's how you get started with 11ty.

Once you generate your static pages, you can upload them to Netify Drop and you've got a website up and running for free (minus the cost of your domain of course).

The simplicity of Joel's site really spoke to me.

One thing he does that I really like is that he has a section for "posts" and a section for "articles."

Posts are shorter pieces of writing. He provides links to this content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Threads, and Facebook.

The articles are longer pieces of writing.

I'd love to do this on Ghost. Not sure if it's possible.

I also like that he attempted to incorporate a digital garden into his site. It appears that he has not been maintaining it, but he's got a decent start.

And he worked it into his existing site so it's seamless from a design perspective.

I've been creating a personal (not public) digital garden for a while now using Obsidian.

But Joel is using a tool called Bear, which I hadn't heard of and looks interesting.

It's worth noting that Joel, like many others, is inspired by Derek Sivers (who was the founder of CD Baby). I also like the simplicity of his site. It's interesting to see the tools he uses as well.

Ultimately, I think I'm going to stick with Ghost for my blog because of the sheer simplicity and superb user/writing experience.

But I'll keep 11ty in mind for other sites in the future.

I've been putting a lot of thought into how I want to use this blog.

For now, what interests me is writing quick posts like this that share my thoughts and process.

Then, periodically (weekly?) I can send out a digest version to the newsletter.

Update: Inspired by the sites above, I moved my Ghost blog over from to I love the ease of use of Ghost, and having it in a subdomain gives me a bit more flexibility in the future.

Addendum: Other interesting personal sites

  • Tom Critchlow - has a wiki digital garden
  • Tom Askohl - here's an article about migrating a blog from Ghost to Eleventy
  • Rasmus - another (fairly typical) personal website for a techie using static web pages from Eleventy
ghost blog11tynetify dropjoel gascoignesteph smithandy yang


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