We moved our blogs from Substack to Hashnode! Here's why?
Image: Hashnode, Substack; Image assembly: Tinz Twins
We have moved our blogs Tinz Twins Hub and Magic AI from Substack to Hashnode. After an extensive period of research, we decided to take this step. Today, we would like to explain why we made the switch to a different platform.
Hashnode is a writing platform created by tech professionals, which provides a significant advantage for tech writers. You can set up a Hashnode blog on your own domain in just a few minutes. Furthermore, your articles will still reach the Hashnode audience, even when hosted on a custom domain.
It's amazing to see how fast devs go from 0 to Blog under a domain they own on Hashnode 🤯. It reminds me a lot of what Substack did for journalists. - Guillermo Rauch (CEO Vercel)
Guillermo Rauch's statement already makes it clear that Substack is more suitable for journalists. Hashnode, on the other hand, simplifies many things for technology enthusiasts.
Next, we'd like to share the benefits of Hashnode that convinced us to make the switch.
Benefits of Hashnode Over Substack
There were a few aspects of Substack that we didn't like or found lacking. We want to discuss these points in detail below.
Code Syntax Highlighting
The lack of code syntax highlighting has always bothered us with Substack. Here is an example code block from one of our Substack articles.
Now, let's take a look at code syntax highlighting in Hashnode. You can see that the code is much easier to read.
company_list = ["Tesla", "Apple", "Block"]
for count, company in enumerate(company_list, start=0):
It is more pleasant for the reader if there is code syntax highlighting. That's a clear advantage for Hashnode.
Access to a large Dev Community and Monetization
Substack was not developed specifically for tech writers. Nevertheless, there are some tech writers who are happy with Substack because they want to write articles behind a paywall. We also have a section for our paywall articles, but we decided to use Steady. Steady is a German provider for publishing articles. Unlike Substack, Steady also offers code syntax highlighting. However, there are additional reasons why we chose Steady for our paywall articles, but we won't delve into those details in this article.
Compared to Substack, Hashnode is a large dev community that draws millions of monthly page views. Go to Hashnode.com and see for yourself. Hashnode also provides a monetization method through Hashnode Sponsors, a 1:1 tipping platform.
Transform the look of your blog with Custom CSS
Hashnode enables you to personalize your blog's appearance using CSS, a feature not available on Substack. As a developer, you'll appreciate the opportunity to enhance your blog's unique style with CSS.
Automatic GitHub Backup
This feature is one of our favorites on Hashnode. It allows us to automatically back up our articles on GitHub in markdown format. Substack doesn't offer such a feature, making it difficult to leave their platform. Moreover, it's always wise to have a backup.
Embed Third-Party Widgets
Hashnode enables the embedding of third-party widgets. Substack doesn't offer such a feature. Widgets in Hashnode are regular embeds that can be inserted anywhere in an article. Hashnode currently supports a wide variety of embeds. You can find more information on the corresponding website. We appreciate this feature because it enables us to customize our blog uniquely. With widgets, we can enhance our blog for readers like you, making it even more engaging and informative.
Super-fast and SEO-optimized blogs
Hashnode blogs are super-fast, SEO-optimized, and score above 90 on all Lighthouse parameters. This is the promise of Hashnode.We wanted to confirm this claim and put it to the test. We compared our Hashnode blog with our Substack blog. Over the past few months, we had noticed that our Substack blog seemed quite slow. That's why we were excited to do the test. Below, you can view the measurement results.
Our Substack Blog - Lighthouse Metrics
Our Hashnode Blog - Lighthouse Metrics
You can see that the performance and accessibility of our Substack blog is significantly worse than that of our Hashnode blog. The Best Practices and SEO scores are quite impressive for both blogs.
Setting up your Hashnode blog on your own domain for free
Another important thing is to run a blog under your own domain. Having your own domain makes a blog look more professional. Substack and Hashnode offer this option. The only difference is that it costs $50 with Substack and is free with Hashnode. To be honest, we think the $50 is overpriced.
Headless Hashnode is a new project from Hashnode. With Hashnode Headless, you can harness the full power of Hashnode's blogging platform while maintaining the flexibility to use it wherever you want. You can build your blog using your preferred tech stack, such as React, Vue, Angular, or Svelte. You only use Hashnode as a blog CMS. There's also a Starter-kit on GitHub. If you're interested, check it out.
In summary, our decision to move our blogs from Substack to Hashnode was influenced by an amount of factors. Hashnode, created by tech professionals for tech professionals, offers features that align more closely with our needs as tech writers. These include code syntax highlighting, access to a large dev community, customization options through CSS, automatic GitHub backup, third-party widget integration, and high-performance, SEO-optimized blogs. While both platforms allow for running a blog under one's domain, Hashnode offers this service free of charge, in contrast to Substack's $50 fee. Additionally, Hashnode's new project, Headless Hashnode, provides even more flexibility and control over the blog management.
Thanks so much for reading. Have a great day!