Hashnode recently released Devblog – a tool that lets you set up your own developer blog on your own domain within minutes.

In case your wondering, I am not sponsored by Hashnode. They don't even know I'm writing this article. I'm just incredibly impressed with their Devblog tools, and I thought I'd share them with you.

First of all, you may be asking: why not just use Medium or some other open publishing platform?

Well, here are some major reasons Devblog is better for developers.

Reason #1: You can host your Devblog on your own domain.

I published this article on my Devblog and now it's available on my own personal website's subdomain.

This is a big deal if you want to build up your own blog's SEO over a longer time horizon.

This also saves you from becoming dependent on blogging platforms that have a nasty tendency to throw up ads or popups on your articles (or even put paywalls / sign-in walls in front of your blog posts).

I mean sure – you could always just migrate your articles later when these platforms get too spammy. But migrating can be a huge hassle. (And yes - I speak from experience.)

"Possession is nine tenths of the law." – One prominent Silicon Valley intellectual property lawyer I talked to

Reason #2: Devblog is designed with developers in mind.

A preview of Hashnode's Python Syntax highlighting on my Devblog article

You can type using markdown. And your code snippets get syntax highlighting, too.

Any images you upload get cached in Hashnode's CDN for speed, so you're not hot-linking or relying on CDNs that might be blocked in some countries (like Google's or Facebook's).

Reason #3: Hashnode will distribute your article throughout its network so you can get more readership

My Devblog article showing up in Hashnode's global algorithmic newsfeed

Many of Hashnode's authors are blogging on their own personal domains. But their articles still automatically show up on Hashnode's website in its algorithmic newsfeeds.

This means your blog will start with a baseline audience that you can grow from there.

Other reasons Devblog is better:

  • You own your own data.
  • You can customize your Devblog way more than most other blogging websites allow.
  • Devblog is free. You don't even need to pay for your own server or serverless function calls.
  • Devblog automatically creates an SSL certificate for you and keeps it updated for you.

OK – so how do I set up a Devblog?

The good news is it's pretty simple. You can create the blog by going to https://hashnode.com/devblog and signing in.

You just need to choose a name and you're good to go. Then you can come back to compose your first article after you've configured your domain.

The Devblog creation flow

Your Devblog will immediately get a hashnode.dev subdomain.

What you see after you've created your Devblog and before you've configured it.

After you create your Devblog you'll see a screen like this. Enter your domain name (with your subdomain if you're using one) and click "update". Then click "Access Dashboard" to configure it.

There are a ton of ways you can customize your Devblog. But today we're just going to focus on getting it live on your own domain.

Hashnode recommends using a subdomain for this so that you can get access to their global CDN and edge caching, so that's what we're going to do in this tutorial.

If you haven't already bought a domain, you can do so. I recommend choosing a domain name where you can buy the same name for .com, .org, and .net, since those are the "big 3" original top-level domains that have existed since the 1990s. (Before the great TLD cash-grab.)

You only need to configure your Devblog for one of your domains. You can then redirect your other domains over to it.

Here is how you should configure your DNS. Note that this is NameCheap's DNS dashboard, but most dashboards will look similar, and all will have a CNAME option:

A picture of my personal domain name dashboard on Namecheap. The blog subdomain is pointed to my Devblog and the www and root domains redirect to my personal Twitter account.

Create a CNAME record and set the host to whatever you want your subdomain to be (I chose blog).

Then set its value to hashnode.network

Hashnode will handle issuing your SSL certificate for you, so you'll automatically get a nice https at the front of your blog's URL. 😎

I set the TTL to 1 minute so it would refresh faster but you may not have to do this.

Presto. You can go to https://[your subdomain].[your domain].[your TLD] and see your Devblog.

For example, my Devblog is at https://blog.quincylarson.com.

You're done.

I told you it was fast.

Now you can use Hashnode's markdown editor to create your first blog post.

Happy blogging.