Why I'm using markdown for my blog

June 27, 20212 min read

I was previously using a headless CMS for this blog, but I've been keen to make the switch to markdown for a little while now. I finally did that yesterday.

Working with the React-based headless CMS I was previously using was a good experience. It helped me understand how the headless CMS ecosystem works (essential for a jamstack developer like myself), and made publishing content on my blog really easy.

Still, there were a number of reasons in the back of my head nagging me to make the switch.

Customisable yet simple

One of the most impressive things about markdown is how comprehensively customisable it is, while simultaneously feeling really simple at heart.

It is of course possible to customise a headless CMS comprehensively too, but doing so requires significant propriatory knowledge that may not be transferrable outside of that headless CMS product.

I also love how well supported working with markdown files is in the Gatsby ecosystem. You can automatically generate a 'read time' for your article as well as a table of contents. These are things that I wanted in the headless CMS I was using previously but it seemed complex to implement.

Sustainable

One thing we know about markdown is that it will persist into the future, regardless of which technologies come and go. I feel much more comfortable knowing that my blog posts are effectively plain text files, as opposed to being locked up in the ecosystem of a startup (some of which are unprofitable and dependent on VC funding which could easily dry up).

When you build up a significant back catalogue of blog posts with a headless CMS provider, you're also vulnerable to any price changes they make.

Workflow fit

I've recently been using Obsidian for note taking. I'm really enjoying building a Zettelkasten, or a collection of evergreen notes.

If you're not aware of the 'tools for thought' revolution going on at the moment, you should take the time to understand it. Emerging tools like Obsidian and Roam Research have the potential to vastly improve the way you learn, think and work.

Since my Obsidian notes are written in markdown anyway, it becomes really easy to build a blog post in my Obsidian vault, and then copy and paste it over to my blog.