Choosing a CMS or coding your own?

For those of you who have blogs, did you code your own or go with a premade CMS?

I’ve read advice against coding a blog w/ angular/javascript because of SEO issues, and I’ve read advice against creating your blog from scratch in general because of security issues… but part of me wants to play around with it anyways, for the fun of it.

As for what I’ll actually use on a regular basis, I’m not opposed to a premade CMS and am open to suggestions. What do you guys use? If you coded your own, what language did you write it with?


I’ve noticed that freeCodeCamp uses Medium. It’s pretty easy to set up a blog with Medium. You get SEO, you get security, and you get a built in audience. The downside is that you don’t own your content and you have fewer options when it comes to the look and feel.

freeCodeCamp just abandoned their blog for Medium. You probably should too.


I think it comes down to your purpose and aims.

If you want to be a ‘ProBlogger’ and be read by loads of people, handle social media sharing, email newsletter pop-ups, host ads and all that jazz, then probably go for the CMS option.

If you want to learn to build a blog from scratch and your success and popularity as a blogger is secondary to that aim (or non-existent) then build the blog :slight_smile:

If you are in the middle of those two, why not start with a CMS so your content has a home immediately, but continue building your own one to switch over to eventually.

In the latter case, you could blog about building your blog. Very meta!


Awesome topic! Haha, @JacksonBates great point! This is what I’m doing now. Going to use CMS (Wordpress) until I either build my own or just indefinitely… IMO the only reason to abandon a CMS is if you want the experience of building your own (you want to actually develop CMSes) or for some reason, current CMSes are not meeting your needs (features, security, etc…)

If those two aren’t true, why try to re-invent the wheel? Just because a guy is a Ford F-150 engineer, doesn’t mean he needs to build his own semi truck when he has to move a ton of stuff.

CMS were made by developers and chances are, they’ve been at it a lot longer than me/you.

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Thanks for the replies. All are great points.

If I’m blogging for a wide audience, I’ll probably publish through medium. For everything else, like personal journal stuff, I could use wordpress or ghost while tinkering around with building a CMS on the side, for the experience.

Just wanted to mention that there’s a middle ground between CMSes and Self-coding. Which are static site generators. Thats what I use. Jekyll is the most commonly known. Since the content is static you can use to host the site. But the generator and blog-awareness makes is feel like dynamic content. It’s pretty neat.

Also, writing in markdown on the local pc just feels good.

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+1 for Jekyll. But maybe you will must some works on your own :wink:

Coding my own website/web application has been the easiest and most rewarding vs using a CMS.

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@michaelhenderson Do you have your own login system and stuff or do you hard-code the content?

I like using devise for user authentication.

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It’s not hard to make a simple, no frills CMS if you just want to show off your personal projects or writing. There is an easy read called - No Nonsense XML Web Development With PHP that walks through an XML powered CMS. It’s not going to show you how to provide SEO or add a login. But it’s kind of neat when you realize that there isn’t much to it if you just want to make something simple for your own use.