WriteFreely: self-hosted blogging platform

WriteFreely is a beautiful, clean, simple, self-hosted blogging platform

WriteFreely is built around writing. There’s no news feed, notifications, or unnecessary likes or claps to take you away from your train of thought. You get a distraction-free writing environment, and readers can enjoy a clean reading experience. –From

*You can also sign up at ($6/M), or get an account on somebody else’s server running WriteFreely


Installing #WriteFreely as an app on Yunohost is very simple. I browse for the app on the admin interface, fill in a few options (allow registrations? make blog private or public?) and click go. Make sure you setup a Let’sEncrypt certificate for the domain name where you will be hosting the blog.

I opted for a public blog but have closed registrations. Currently there isn’t any option to have open registrations but for invited people only. I would love to help my family and friends host their blogs in the future if this option becomes available.

Blogging Experience

It’s very easy to open up WriteFreely, and type up a blog post. I don’t get bogged down with all the options other blogging platforms have: link colours, adding pictures, embedding videos etc. I can make drafts of important things I want to blog about and then publish them later. I enjoy the simple interface as there are fewer options to fiddle which which distract me from writing. If you do want to customize the look and feel of your blog you can do it through custom CSS. If you do love all those little things you can customize, and like complexity you will probably like WordPress better.

One of my favourite features of WriteFreely is it’s ability to automatically ‘federate’ with Mastodon. This means you can see comments to posts on Mastodon without dealing with installing/embedding a comments system onto your blog.

Backing up your posts is very simple. You can download all your blog posts in one of 4 formats: csv, zip, json, or ‘prettified’ json. You aren’t locked into any ‘format’ or platform. Your writing is yours to backup and take with you wherever you want.


  • Can’t figure out how to change the avatar picture of my blog when it federates on #Mastodon.
  • Occasionally get a ‘failed to post’ error. Seems to be related to a bad cookie of an unfinished, or failed post. To get past it, I suggest opening WriteFreely in an incognito window, or clear your cookies, or see if there has been a WriteFreely update.
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