Alpha Coder

From Medium to Ghost

Hi everyone! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be migrating my blog Alpha Coder from Medium.com at medium.com/alpha-coder to Ghost (self-hosted) at alphacoder.xyz. In this post, I’ll be explaining why and how I’m migrating, and what to expect from me and the blog going forward.

Why the move?

I started taking blogging more seriously sometime in early 2017. Since then, I’ve been amazed by how far my writing has gone and the opportunities it has brought me (jobs, freelance gigs, speaking invites etc)—this year I had about 100k views from 30+ articles, up from 6.5k from 15 articles in 2017. I’d wanted to take things up a notch with proper branding (colors, custom domain etc) to make it easier to sell myself as a Software Engineer and Teacher, for quite a while. In September, I created a Medium publication after deciding that self-hosting a blog would be too much work. I didn’t quite like the publication thingy, but it was really easy to setup so I went with it; up until the point when I wanted to use a custom domain. Medium does not allow that anymore. Annoyed, I started to look for alternatives. I chose Ghost.

Why Ghost?

I was going to use WordPress but I decided to give Ghost a try, and I’m liking what I’m seeing so far (smooth-ish installation, clean UI etc). I was also kinda drawn by the fact that it’s built with Node.js/JavaScript. Plus, I heard it’s a lot faster, so… you know—the faster the better.

How are you migrating?

All future articles will be publish here on alphacoder.xyz. I’ll be moving older posts over manually and gradually since Medium makes it very difficult for users to export their content to other platforms. Also, it’s not possible to do 301 redirects from Medium to Ghost for migrated posts, so I’ll not be deleting the original articles. I’ll link from the posts on Medium to the new blog. The Medium posts (basically title plus link to this blog) will remain until I notice little or no traffic from Medium. I may decide to delete the publication then.

What will you miss from Medium?

Little if anything. I used to think Medium was the major source of traffic on my posts. It turns out it’s about the least source, especially in my most trafficked articles. For instance, my top post this year had 37k views. 28k of that was from Google.com. Only 6% was from Medium. If I continue writing posts that help solve peoples’ problem, I believe I’ll get great traffic.

Spec sheet?

So the blog uses Ghost as you already know. The Ghost installation currently runs on a $5-per-month Ubuntu server on Vultr. This should be okay for now. As the blog grows, I’ll increase the server capacity accordingly.

Ads on the blog?

Maybe. I might be placing non-intrusive ads on the site sometime in the future in order to offset the costs of running the blog.

What should I be expecting from Alpha Coder?

In 2019, I’m going to be writing more frequently and consistently. I hope to write an article bi-weekly. This might not be possible at the beginning of the year because of school work, but I’ll try my best. I’ll also double down on the quality of my articles, so expect high quality content. Most of my posts will be brief how-to guides, but I’ll also be doing long form posts. I’ll be writing more non-technical stuff too—majorly about my life as a Software Engineer. Expect a little ranting too! If you want me to write about something, please let me know on Twitter @nicholaskajoh (DMs are open).

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