It has been long since I wanted to develop a website for blogging. Everytime I sat with it the one thing that disturbed me is that I have to setup everything from scratch - i.e. design databases, choose a framework for writing my APIs, test my APIs and many more. I was never a fan of coupled CMS like Wordpress.
That is when I started writing on Dev.to. The reason why I chose Dev.to over Medium has to be the activity I could see on a daily basis. I know Medium is very popular and is good to make some money writing. The thing was I wasn't sure whether the blog will lead to anything at all, because of the multiple projects I could see that are pending in my list.
I loved writing on Dev.to probably because of it's editor. No clutter, blackish background, markdowns possible. That is all that I ever needed I guess. So I started writing and soon I realized I don't have a nice home page if I wanted to show my blog off to my friends. And that is when I started wandering. And eureka.
Dev.to actually has everything built in for you. They have APIs exposed publicly that you can use to create a nice front-end for your blog. The GET requests are free, while you need an API-Key for the POST/PUT ones I guess. But that didn't much matter to me as I just wanted people be able to read contents for the MVP.
It took well over a day to set things up. So the backend is powered by Dev.To (Thank you :D), the front-end is hosted on Netlify. It was made using ReactJs. The only cost I incurred was the custom domain I bought from GoDdaddy for 199 a year I guess. So that is it. Cheapest blog setup ever I guess. So essentially Dev.to does all the hosting for me. Thank you Dev.to developers for keeping the system in perfect condition always.
Here is the API documentation if you want to give it a go
Here is how the blog looks like today. I am pretty sure I will start working on it soon again or atleast I hope.
You can access the blog over HERE. I know there are a lot of improvements possible just as you open it. But it satisfied my use-case I guess - almost free blogger.
In my next post I will bring in an even fancier way of doing things using Strapi. Till then -