Patrick Simpson

My Static Markdown Blog Engine

I started out on a journey, building a static blog engine from the ground up. I know it's been done before and we shouldn't be reinventing the wheel... But this idea has been bugging me for a long time, it was finally time to get it done.

With other static engines, I always feel like I give up a little control. I give up a tiny detail that nags me. I can't stand that one little thing I have to give up.

Ghost was my last attempt. (Considering I moved to Ghost from Wordpress, things were looking good.) I love Ghost's editor interface. It's low barrier-to-entry was what won me over. However, I lost some control. It didn't give me everything I wanted. I felt like modifying it outside of what Ghost was providing was difficult or out of reach sort-of-speak. Not to mention (until recently), you'd lose your post if the browser crashed and you forgot to "save a draft".


So I stumbled upon Harp.js about 2 weeks ago. I was amazed at how simple and easy it wrapped up features that I wanted. Especially one command to create the static version. This was what I've wanted all along. Something simple and a joy to use.

But, it failed me as a complete solution (just not enough features by itself). Creating and maintaining a static blog with Harp alone proved to be a lot of maintenance. (More than I wanted to do). That's where Ghost won, and I didn't want give up on that dream. Barrier to entry was one of my biggest concerns afterall.


I've created a Gulp wrapper with BrowserSync to my Harp.js site. Now I create blog posts with insane speeds, and still have my static site that I always wanted. Not to mention, I feel like I have 100% control over everything. Content, markup, markdown, etc.. Also, since all my posts are on github, my editor can be

Did I do too much? Maybe so. I spent a couple of weekends and nights working on this project. I wanted it to be easy to use for me as well as for anyone else. Also, I enjoyed the process and learned something.