chlog: Statically Generated Blog via Markdown

Published 4/19/2016

chlog is a static website generator with a Markdown editor for creating/updating blog posts. Running as a couchapp, chlog is a standalone application with an administrator site that generates the public blog each time a new post is published.

Features

Live Markdown preview

Create new posts using the markdown syntax. Drag and drop an image and chlog will save the image in the database and provide the Markdown syntax for the image.

Markdown preview

Post Management

Publish, edit, and delete existing posts.

post management

Site Settings

Edit site settings that will apply both to the blog index and individual post pages.

site settings

Motivation

In the past I have maintained a self-hosted personal blog but keeping up with adding new posts was occasionally problematic or just tedious. Weird templates (Jade, Haml) and/or bloated dependencies (Ruby) seem to be common in this space. One could opt for one of the many hosted blogging platforms such as Medium or Svbtle although I rule this option out entirely because they may have favorable terms of service now but businesses change these all the time and who knows when they might cancel the service entirely.

After trying several static site generators I kept encountering common issues that posed a barrier to publishing. One major issue was accessing the publishing toolchain every time I wanted to post something new.

After experiencing these difficulties I decided to write a short list of requirements for a new static site generator + blog post management system.

  • desktop + mobile web accessible
  • CRUD on new and existing posts
  • human readable/writable template format
  • post editing preview
  • all-in-one post + site management

chlog was created to satisfy these requirements and additionally attempt to carry a similar level of design appeal of notable hosted blogging platforms.