Websites used to be really simple.
No databases. No configuration. No complex deployment systems.
Perhaps until around the year 2000, most websites didn't use a database and simply stored all their data in files.
Lately, some developers have tried to return to this simpler era, creating blogging software that only uses files. I've tested a few, and my favorite by far is Dropplets.
Dropplets is probably the simplest way to blog that I've seen in many years. It makes even WordPress look bloated by comparison. Developed by Jason Schuller, the man behind Press75 WordPress themes, Dropplets is a fun and easy way to blog. Here's how it works ...
Dropplets is completely free and it hosted on Github. Head to https://github.com/circa75/dropplets and click ZIP to download the files.
The whole package is less then 1000kb and contains just four folders.
- Upload the Dropplets folder to your server.
- Visit the URL for the folder you've uploaded. You'll see a installation screen which consists of about 6 fields.
- Enter your email address, Twitter handle and some other quick details.
- Click the check mark at the bottom the screen.
You're done. Installation is that easy.
To administer your new blog, add /dashboard to your blog and you can enter your password to login.
The entire Dropplets dashboard consists of 3 links. From left to right:
- Upload a post.
- Go to the homepage of your blog.
- Change your template.
You post to Dropplets by using markdown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown
There's no database, so all Dropplets posts are stored in files like this:
Here's how you post:
- Use the sample file to write your blog post as in the image below.
- Upload the new file to the /posts/ folder.
Here's my Dropplets site with my first blog posts. It's uploaded as an .md file and the name of the file becomes the URL for the post.
Here's how that post looks on the front of the site:
There are two templates installed with Dropplets. You've seen the default, and here's what the other template looks like:
What does a Dropplets template consist of? The answer is: very little.
With one of the sample template, there's less than 300 lines of CSS, all stored in a single file called style.css:
The post.php file contains only 15 lines of code and it's one of the longest files in the whole Dropplets system: