Silvrback is a hosted, markdown-powered blog combined with a bio page. The platform is as clean and simple as Medium, while giving you complete control over your own brand. Sign up
I built Silvrback because none of the existing blogging platforms satisfied me completely.
Medium is great for readers but it is bad for writers. Readers are steered away to other articles/authors after they are done reading your article. Moreover, the analytics of Medium are extremely basic and you have no idea how people found your article. You really shouldn't use Medium if you want to build any kind of brand with your writing.
Svbtle is closer to what I wanted out of my blogging platform. However, it is taking the elitism approach and heavily restricting its users. I actually just received an invite to Svbtle but I have grown tired of their UI and I'm wary of any blogging platform that doesn't charge for the service. As the saying goes, "If you aren't paying for something then you aren't the customer, you're the product being sold."
So I put together a list of the features needed for the ideal blogging platform. Silvrback is the result of this list.
- A clean and modern UI (front and back-end).
- Markdown powered and as simple as possible.
- Support for custom domains and external analytics.
- Hosted. People shouldn't spend any time configuring a server for a blog. Also, you shouldn't have to worry about traffic spikes crashing your server.
- The platform should have brand awareness in mind (e.g. provide a better way to show and consolidate a person's distributed accomplishments).
- Trustworthy. I don't want my efforts and content to be sold to advertisers.
- Hacker friendly. Nice syntax highlighting.
- Precise control over the journey of a new reader (direction of article discovery).
Let me give you a tour
First off, in place of my AppRaptor icon in the top left is your own logo or picture. If you don't want either of these, you can choose an icon from the noun project to use as your logo.
Secondly, I've gutted the traditional full blog archive (it was pretty worthless) and replaced it with a list that can be ordered by author recommendations. The user still has the option to sort dynamically by date, however. You can see this in action here or by clicking "archive" in the menu. I've made these changes because a new blog reader needs to be guided by the hand. (Even more clarity can be added to this archive by applying your own tags to the articles, such as "most popular" or "read this first.")
The back-end is as simple and distraction free as possible. Your dashboard lets you toggle between your current drafts and publications as shown in the screenshot below:
The writing platform is markdown-powered to reduce UI bloat. There is almost nothing on this screen. I didn't want any UI elements to distract from the writing process. I'm trying to abide by the Japanese concept of "MA", which essentially means less is more. A pure state of emptiness gives us a sense of endless possibilities. Screenshot:
Silvrback also supports image uploads and custom url-slugs.
You also have the option of creating a bio page, which is like a 20,000-foot view of your accomplishments and web presence. We all have lots of distributed projects/writing out there in the wild and there needs to be a way to consolidate all of this onto one platform. By putting it alongside your blog, you're controlling your brand and making it easier for people to see your work. A LinkedIn page, for example, is complete crap for giving people an easy way to see your projects, and a Github page only shows code-related work. See my bio page, or check out the screenshot below:
On your bio page, you can create arbitrary categories (e.g. education, awards, books written) and add tags to items to give them more meaning.
Silvrback, as you can see, is more than a blogging platform. It's more like a branding platform.
Own your brand. Choose an icon, or upload your own logo or initials
Silvrback will make you look good while you're promoting your work. Blogging is the single best thing you can do to create new opportunities. A high-quality blogging platform is invaluable. Don't spend any time installing plugins or worrying about site performance.
Some of the icons you can choose from. You can also choose the UI color.
Beautiful syntax highlighting
Choose between four different color schemes. (Monokai, Native, Autumn and Default)
def create @article = Article.new(params[:article]) @article.user_id = current_user.id if @article.save flash[:success] = "Your draft has been saved" redirect_to edit_article_path(@article.id) end end
Unlimited Bandwidth. Good Platform Scalability
Don't waste your time setting up servers for your blog. Focus on your brand and your product instead.
Silvrback is built on the backbone of AWS, and it is setup to autoscale when a traffic surge is detected. The front-end uses memcached extensively, so your pages will load fast for your readers.
Custom domains, Google Analytics & Disqus
Use your own domain with Silvrback (optional). Track anything and everything with Google Analytics. Allow readers to give you feedback with Disqus.
What users are saying
"Silvrback... It was everything I wanted from Medium and Ghost, and hosted, and easy, and just...everything." Kitgar
"I am loving Silvrback. Would recommend it to anyone." Khalid
"A lot of thought and careful planning went into the features. I can appreciate that. It's nice. Lots of people are coming out with blogging platforms with lots of different features. Silvrback seems to hit the nail on the head by delivering the right features, especially for a programmer looking to blog." Jasonlotito
Sign up for a free trial
I want to make this as affordable as possible, so I'm pricing Silvrback at $29.99/year. This is about the price of a Wordpress theme, but I believe you're receiving way more value because you are getting hosting as well as an innovative blogging platform (with no setup headaches).
I'm also offering a 14-day free trial for everyone. So you don't need to buy until you are sure that you love it.
Follow me on Twitter.