Countless people and essentially every company has a blog and for good reason! They're invaluable tools to build our personal and company brands, connect with customers, be thought leaders, etc. They're also cheap and easy to get started with many options available with the most popular obviously being Wordpress. Just register for a "free" Wordpress account, pick a generic theme that's good enough and off you go.
For personal blogs, this is a great solution. For company blogs, it leaves much to be desired from both marketing and engineering perspectives.
Let's start with marketing issues:
- The generic theme you picked doesn't match your well-designed website and brand. Your designers have poured their blood sweat and tears into creating a pixel perfect product and along comes this frankenstein-esque blog that gets stitched on and barely matches the rest of the site. Inside you think[hope], "No one will notice".
- Not happy with a basic free theme, you buy a slightly more original theme from a marketplace like Themeforest. Hopefully you get lucky and find one that matches some of your colors or typography. The layout, header, footer, etc are still completely different and your blog looks exactly like the thousands of others with the same theme.
- The other alternative is to build out a custom theme to exactly match your brand. This option takes weeks of time (usually months) and $2000+. The result is a great looking blog with perfectly a matching header and footer... that is until you update the design of your main site after running some A/B tests.
Regardless of which choice you make, over time, the blog quickly diverges from your main site and you're back at square one. This cycle has forced us into settling with a non-optimal solution that we all sort of just tolerate.
I'm an engineer by trade and I love using modern frameworks like Django, Ruby on Rails, and Angular.JS to build my applications. So when faced with the proposition of having to 'customize' (aka hack) Wordpress, I'm less than thrilled.
“Having engineers work on Wordpress is a great way to make them want to leave your organization”
After talking with dozens of like-minded engineers at tech startups, here's the most common complaints:
- Wordpress is everything to everyone. For a fast, good looking company blog it's simply too heavy weight and overkill.
- Self-hosting it is a pain (security risks, constant updates).
- It's an entirely different technology stack (than the one I use for my main site) that I have to setup and maintain (or pay someone else to).
- As a Python/Django/Rails engineer, customizing Wordpress is just painful. I have more important things to worry about and learn than the internals of Wordpress' 12-year old code base.
- Database backups: due to frequent updates to both Wordpress and any plugin's my blog uses, I have to constantly back up my data.
- It's written in a language that less and less modern engineers enjoy working with. Direct quote from a fellow Python engineer: “Having people work on Wordpress is a great way to make them want to leave your organization”.
A Butter Alternative
The reason we're building Butter is because at the end of the day everyone wants a company blog that:
- Is simple and fast to setup
- Will look great and match your brand, forever
- Uses the same technology as your main site, the same one that your engineers and designers enjoy working with
Has fantastic SEO because it's incredibly fast and your blog can reside at http://example.com/blog instead of resorting to http://blog.example.com
This is precisely what Butter offers.