Hashnode got featured on ProductHunt recently. After reading all the reviews and experiences there from everyone, I thought I should write a post about my experience as well.
Before I dig deeper into the Awesomeness of the Hashnode platform, I would like to share my story.
As far as I remember, I have been trying to write since 2010. But I was mostly focusing on tweaking my WordPress blog and dealing with spam comments. I could never really focus on my writing. I kept changing my hosting plans as well. I was not putting my efforts in the right direction and because of that, all my blog viewers were spammers and not real people.
I switched to Hashnode this year April 2020. Initially, I just wanted to save the money that I was wasting on a web hosting plan as it didn't make any sense to pay while I was hardly writing. Although, I started liking the overall idea of Hashnode within a few weeks and I got the motivation to write more consistently than ever.
Now, I have ~10 drafts in progress that I am planning to post in the next few weeks. This was possible because I don't have to focus on my hosting payments, setting up my blog, configuring, and securing it with countless plugins.
I know I am still a nobody and I barely have ~15 posts on my blog but at least I got real readers and real feedback on my articles. That's more than enough for now.
Okay, enough about me. Let's talk about the Hashnode.
What is Hashnode
From the Hashnode itself:
Hashnode is a free content creation platform and community that allows you to publish articles on your own domain and helps you stay connected with a growing developer community.
Hashnode is a great community which was built by developers for developers. It's super easy to set up your account and start your blog on Hashnode. Once you sign up, you can set up your own blog with either a free subdomain provided by hashnode or a custom domain that you own.
Well, that was just the first and most important benefit for me for moving to the Hashnode, that I could use my own domain name.
There is more though. 🎁
Let's take a look at other good stuff that you get if you use Hashnode as your blogging platform:
1. Beautiful interface with blog customization
Hashnode looks modern and beautiful. It's one of the best-looking dev platforms out there.
You can also customize the look of your blog by giving it a unique style. You can check out my post here and see how I tweaked and made changes in the CSS.
2. Community driven feature development
Sandeep Panda and Syed Fazle Rahman are always listening to the community. These guys are very humble, and supportive. A lot of improvements and feature development is driven from the Feature Request page. Feel free to create a feature request if you want. 😉
So the Hashnode team truly listens to you and builds the platform accordingly. They are always shipping great features.
You can check out their Changelog page and see all the features and changes they are bringing to the community.
3. Friendly and supportive founders
The Hashnode team is quite friendly and supportive. I had the pleasure to talk to Syed Fazle Rahman a few times. He is a very cool and supportive guy. With all the workload and responsibility, the founders still find the time to help out the community with their issues and answer their questions.
I think there is a reason for Hashnode's success and that's the responsiveness of the founders. They are very quick at learning and understanding the community's needs so they learn and adapt from that and shift all their efforts in that direction. They don't beat around the bush and quickly get on it. That's how Hashnode evolved from a QnA site to its current state.
4. Great and supportive community
Hashnode community got a lot of talented writers and developers who are always writing great stuff and also helping out their fellow dev bloggers. You can join the Discord server to interact with all of us there.
There are a lot of perks to having a community like this. You can always ask for feedback on drafts and get help with your blog. You also get more exposure to your content this way. Imagine doing it all alone and doing it with a community where people are already there to read your articles.
You don't get this kind of community support anywhere else. You are on your own if you are self-hosting your blog. As a beginner, I only had the sound of crickets when I had my blog self-hosted.
Hashnode also partnered with daily.dev so your articles might get featured and you could even get more visibility. Isn't that amazing?
You also get to read a lot of great content from a lot of well established as well as new writers.
5. You got the ownership of your content
You retain all the rights to your content. You can export and download all your posts with a single click. So you practically own everything that you write.
You can also set the Canonical URLs for your blog posts in case you choose to keep your blog somewhere but want to write on the Hashnode subdomain.
But once you start writing on the Hashnode, you would eventually move your entire blog and content here. 😉
6. Performance and Security
SSL is enabled by default whether you are using a free subdomain or your custom one. Hashnode makes sure that it's secure and they also take care of all the spam and other related issues.
Their uptime is also good as you can check in the screenshot below:
7. Built-in Newsletter
They have a free in-built newsletter that you can enable with a single click. You don't have to set up anything at all. Although you can use your own newsletter with the widgets if you want. But as a beginner, if you don't want to do the additional efforts then Hashnode got you covered.
8. Bootcamps and challenges
They do have Bootcamps and article writing challenges to get the best out of you. I am more consistent than before. Now I write at least 2 articles every week as I follow their 2Article1week challenge which helped me to stay consistent.
You also get badges for completing the 2Articles1Week challenge.
They even gave away free domains to the developers. They have another contest coming up where they are giving away the egghead subscription for 1 year for free.
They also did their first Technical Writing Bootcamp a few weeks ago and it went really well. I wrote more about my Bootcamp experience here.
9. Better reach and visibility
Hashnode promotes your posts for free in their email newsletter, Discord, Twitter, and other social channels if they like your content. You could easily get thousands of views in a day this way. All you have to do is write quality content that people love to read.
10. Automatic backup
They have automatic GitHub Backups for your blog content. Every time you publish an article on your blog, a markdown version of the post is pushed to your private GitHub repo as a backup.
11. Markdown editor with superpowers
You get a Markdown editor for writing your posts. This removes all the noise and lets you focus on the writing. It also gives you the power and simplicity that you have with static site generators.
In this Markdown editor, you get the syntax highlighting as well as the ability to drag and drop your images to embed them directly in your posts. You can also embed tweets, youtube videos, CodePen, and a lot of other things.
12. SEO friendly and super fast blogs
They are using edge caching that improves the performance of the blog. It is also configured to be friendly for the Search Engines.
You can also enable the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) with a single click to make it more mobile-friendly.
They provide free analytics of your blog posts. Although you can also integrate your Google Analytics and Hotjar for detailed analysis. It's very easy to setup.
14. Use GitHub as a source for your articles
If you don't want to use the Hashnode directly for writing your posts on your Hashnode blog then you can simply write your posts directly from a GitHub repository just like you can do with your Github static pages with markdown files.
15. It's FREE! No Ads! No Catch!
You can start your blog for free with either a subdomain or your own domain name. There is no catch, no hidden agenda here. Founders are very transparent about it and they constantly take feedback from the community.
This might sound too good to be true for some readers. I understand that as I got this from someone on Twitter:
If you are skeptical about it and wonder about the sustainability of the Hashnode then you might wanna read this post written by one of the co-founders of the Hashnode.
Just to give you a brief idea, they might introduce PRO plans in the future. They would be focusing more on the businesses to charge them a monthly subscription fee while keeping the blogging free for individual developers. Although, they are still brainstorming and exploring their options.
Take action now
It's time to take action now.
If you face any issue, you can always ask on Discord as the Hashnode founders are very active there.
You can also reach out to me on Twitter in case you need help with something.
I hope you start your dev blogging journey soon.
Thanks for reading. 🎃
Stay awesome! 💎