You're going to want to use subdomains for the sites, otherwise all sites are sharing the same domain security model, and you're going to run into problems when (not if, when) a site gets reported for abuse/phishing/spam/ect issues. Path origin security support is years out.
While you're on subdomains, get a wildcard SSL cert and default to it. Neocities started without SSL, and next month I'm paying the price for that sin - we're switching to default SSL and unfortunately it's likely going to break a lot of sites. It's not really a choice anymore, given the political climate and the upcoming pagerank dock from Google.
If the site explodes in popularity, I'm happy to give advice. There's a lot of problems I've solved relating to running a massive web hosting service for a lot of people. Some of it required months of research and some serious firehose drinking to figure out.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for money - at least $5/mo, if you go lower you're just crop sharing for the credit card companies. At a bare minimum, throw up a PayPal donation button. I've learned that if you provide a useful service, people will pay you, even if there's an excellent free option. I'd rather pay a small amount to help sustain a service than have it fall apart from lack of funds and/or dev interest. That's a good thing and it's worth something.
To illustrate the importance of at least a donation button: HN users donated over $4000 to us on launch, and I ran the site on that budget for almost two years. Site possibly wouldn't exist today without HN support. Sometimes the comment sections betray this (I'm including myself in this statistic), but kind hearted, wonderful people lurk here.
A year and a half ago, I was looking for a place that would allow me to host a single HTML page for free. A couple of shady free hosting sites later, I came across Neocities. It was a breeze to set up an account there and host a short story of mine in HTML format.
I found myself giving out the link to anyone who'd like to check it out, without needing to e-mail them a PDF (or even worse, a Word document). I like nice typography and readability so sending a simple text file was not the ideal option either. But a link to a page was perfect: it displays well on every device and the page can easily be updated. I wrote the whole thing in Markdown and hacked together a short script to generate HTML from it, which I could easily drag-n-drop to Neocities for quick iteration based on remote people's feedback.
I never wrote again, but if I did, I'd definitely use the same method. An open platform for HTML publishing is essential to keeping the spirit of the minimalist, hyperlink-driven Web alive.
So thank you for Neocities, and cheers!
I'll be sure to contact you as soon as the need comes again. You seem to be a valuable resource indeed :)
even scale probably does not come into the picture.
is it stuff like custom domains (which i assume is nginx+lua magic)
I guess I'm just an old web 1.0 guy but I just don't see and understand why everything must be done in a super dynamic way. Hell sometimes I like clicking on a link and watching the browser do the loading as it is confirmation for me the thing actually got loaded. Particularly when buying/shopping for stuff (ie traditional POST).
I need to fix my brain. Every time I see "static sites", I think "oh great, no dynamic server or client code, just static HTML/CSS for fast loading".
If I'm going to have to undergo a "compile step" for my website, it's going to do something worthwhile, darn it.
If nobody else does I guess eventually I'll get fed up and build it myself :\
You can generate a HTML fragment, or an HTML file, or HTML with table of contents, CSS, and footer, etc. http://pandoc.org/demos.html
It has some pretty heavy dependencies, but so far I haven't found anything better for generating a true static site from Markdown. I probably haven't looked hard enough either.
Pandoc is written in Haskell, but when built it's just a regular binary.
I use it a lot, I've collected of quite large collection of long form articles/"opinion pieces"/etc from websites and used pandoc to translate them into epub. (after manually pruning some html)
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:prettydiff/biddle.git
node biddle (parses the readme.md file to the terminal)
node biddle get http://example.com/document.md
node biddle markdown downloads/document.md
node biddle markdown downloads/document.md 60 (word wrap at 60 character width)
Lately I was searching for static site generator that would require no configuration. It is written in single file of straightforward go. It gives you just two sections: posts and pages.
EDIT: Oops, Pandoc was already mentioned. I should have refreshed the site.
At first I agreed with many of the other posters, that this just had more overhead than it needed, so I didn't take it seriously.
But when I saw this comment, I got it.
It's an MVP! You launched it before it was ready, but not before you were ready. Which is exactly what we're supposed to do. Grow a thick skin, share it, and take your lumps. This way, your baby will grow up much faster than it would have it you went it alone.
Many of us here, including myself, are too chicken to do that as early as we should. Thank you for showing the way.
I don't think it is because the platform is "heavy" (I assume in productive features) but rather it is what you are probably most recently familiar with.
For example I have built similar CMS tools for internal documentation with Java + Postgres (markdown and mustache.java) in less than a day. The development time was quick because I know Java and SQL... and basic HTML + request response handling.
A Minimum Viable Product could be done in a few minutes with pandoc, a popular and standard tool that supports markdown to html conversation out of the box.
apt-get install pandoc
# convert from markdown to html
pandoc -f markdown -t html article.md
I've learned a great deal reading these comments, so thank you for posting your project.
But it should be rendering the site without a loading indicator. There's no reason that should be displayed
I'm not sure I follow on the instant page pushes. Are you talking about a little dialog that pops up and "says a new version of the page" kind of thing?
Completely useless for static sites, but nice to have while authoring.
Before I get into feature creep (hero image, forms, analytics) I'd like to work on reaching an audience. Problem is, I'm not sure who would appreciate it. I know it's a useful tool so any tips on how to spread the word is greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, apart from polymaths that just want to share their expertise on as many discrete subjects as possible which I'm not convinced is the biggest target market, it's probably blogspammers and astroturfers...
- Single page property websites/subdomains created by brokers (www.123mainstreet.com)
- parked domain landing pages
Was planning on doing a Show HN if/when I'd made it a bit more robust. It makes sites that look like this: http://mirage.mamota.net
For example, https://hearthstonejson.com uses Jekyll and I haven't been able to move it.
Jekyll has a ton of issues but it gets it right at least: any page you make becomes a page on the site.
Also one of my goals is that my non-coder friends could get their websites up with little effort. So Jekyll is great, but for IT savvy people.
Realize you're saying you don't want to add any features but some quick mobile optimization to make the links more readable / clickable on a small screen would go a long way.
It's a meteor.js app with React.js at the front. Namecheap to buy domains and Braintree to handle payments. Hosting on Scalingo (awesome service btw). Hmm.. what else.. the chat plugin is tawk.to - be sure to check that out.
I'll be sure to improve the mobile view soon, thanks for the comment!
Why do you use braintree but not use namecheap for everything? Avoiding lock-in or some technical reasons?
Not saying what you're doing isn't a good idea; I'm just not quite sure where the big distinction (and attraction) is. Is it that the process is more shrink-wrapped?
Previously the best alternative was a free Firebase/Google account, and then setting up a HTML/CSS site, and deploying it.
This is much faster.
Thank you for building it!
And please, don't be dissuaded by the other commenters. Sure, the market is much smaller than the market that Squarespace et al are targeting, but you're solving your own problem, and there are at least a few others that share that same problem!
Problem this solves: People who want to quickly register a domain and get a text landing page up.
Side note: I wish Medium.com could set up a specific blog post as the home page for a publication with a custom domain
Or I wish I could get a custom domain for Quip.com notes
Just a thought, not sure if good or viable. But maybe let users buy their designs for self-hosting would be an idea.
And yes, this looks good for me. I won't use it for a personal homepage, I'll use it for other sites, but seems easy to use it for non-personal homepage sites too.
It would be great if there was a tool that let you use simple markdown, took a few options, and generated beautiful static pages like e.g. Medium with a minimum of hassles.
I guess a lot of people use WordPress with themes, or Weebly, SquareSpace but it still seems pretty complicated.
Hate to be 'that guy', but it would be nice if you served this over HTTPS, given that you are accepting credit card details.
I have a very small server running Apache, with mod_markdown installed. .md files are rendered as HTML by Apache, and there's a CSS file to tweak if I feel like it.
BTW my first Internet facing thing was a CGI-BIN Perl script delivering call records for telcos, way back in 1995. I've been cutting code for 35+ years. Never feel old!
I set its ancestor up when I was about 16, using Debian -- and invested a fair amount of time in it, learning a lot.
When I bought it in 2013, the cost of cloud storage for a few years was far greater than the cost of the board + a hard drive, but setting up the obscure hardware took more effort than I expected. Nevertheless, I have no plan to switch to cloud services. I like owning my own stuff, and keeping the flexibility to add whatever service I need on the network at home is very useful. For example, I can SSH into it, and control my fancy central heating system, and a while back I added a UPNP media server, which can stream to a Chromecast.
I think one way to differentiate yourself in this kinda area is making it run without any backend tech like jekyll, python, etc. Make it run client-side only. Just my 2 cents.
I'll also have a look at ublock. I also use it, haven't had problems. Maybe you tried exactly when the site was down. Had overload problems for a few minutes.
I wish I would've developed it further to allow for markup to be used, but other projects always come up.
There's a lot of boiler-plate in markdown posts. Author, date, etc. Wordpress does all this for you.
My editor doesn't know which categories, authors or tags already exists. I can't remember if I use the category "car" or "cars".
I haven't found a nice way of handling inline images.
Several frameworks and tools allow for markdown and static site rendering that also support an admin UI where one can define this data more easily.
I'm looking for one such or a couple, can you enumerate?
You can also always build your own on top of whatever generator you want to use (example: http://willschenk.com/building-a-gui-for-managing-middleman-...).
My favorite setup though is middleman + contentful + codeship. Static site generation happens with middleman. Content management happens with Contentful. Publishing happens with codeship.
An open spec for efficient binary encoding of formatted text is the thing we've needed for 20 years - not more MD tools.
I'm genuinely curious because I've never considered Markdown anything more than a way to more easily render text -- which it seems to do fine. But, maybe I've just exposed myself as an average user..
2) A good answer is another, more efficient open spec for encoding formatted text - meaning I can use any app to format my text, then open it in another app and be sure I have full fidelity. This fidelity would be constrained by a requirement of HTML output.
The power-user had to with HTML before markdown/restructuredtext/other came along. I'd call that an improvement.
If anything, the "elite" is powered by latex only. Which is another level of crazy entirely.
How would this improve anything? Is there something about Markdown that makes it inherently inferior that I don't know about? I don't consider myself a tech-elite and Markdown seems just fine to me.
I disagree on this completely, here is why:
It is simple format and users can figure it out and it will empower them. Some will know very basic things, but others can learn and do more.
Not displaying any change until it's rendered might make it feel more seamless
That's a solvable problem, though - grab some top-flight themes with appropriate licenses and you're probably good to go!
V3 is very similar (in concept) to what you have built. I believe that there is huge market for tools designed only for developers.
Like Weebly but for developers.
haha, great tagline I must say :D
> Extension not supported
What are the major obstacles?
Markdown has two substantial benefits: Easy to store format that is easy to convert into HTML.
All native support would do is lot in a specific Markdown feature set, specific markdown styling, and specific Markdown syntax.
If you then tried to make a browser supported subset of Markdown that you then allowed to be customised, you'd wind up with so much goop that nobody would be happy.
Also, this: https://xkcd.com/927/