Pubray as a blogging platform for software engineers and teams
Learn about all the publishing features on Pubray that should be a great fit for individuals and companies involved in software.
Check out also the Pubray Engineering blog which covers all that makes Pubray come together, including Phoenix LiveView backend, React-powered client and CI/CD with Playwright, GitHub and Docker.
I’ll start with a rundown of top Pubray features that are bound to make developers and their teams happy, while (mostly) refraining from referencing competition. But don’t worry — we’ll get to that next.
Articles as code
With the recently released cloud sync feature, developers and teams may keep all their articles, pages and newsletters in a GitHub repo “as a code”. This opens a number of opportunities, for instance:
- get project docs, knowledge bases or other content that sits aside the code published in no time & for everyone or just for the team
- facilitate company blog or docs with the same workflow as your projects — pull requests, reviews, version control etc
Code editing & highlighting
For developers, code formatting is perhaps the most important feature beyond just headings and paragraphs. Yet, no publishing platform before Pubray did it right in my opinion. Here’s what I mean by right:
- code should be a part of an article, not an external embed or image so that Pocket, “reader modes” and search engines may handle it
- code should be highlighted so that reader has an easier time parsing it (and it’d be great if colors would match the website branding)
- highlighting should be WYSIWYG — i.e. happen “live” right in the editor — to help writer pick the right syntax and catch issues early
- editor should cover basic operations on code like changing indentation for sake of post-processing after paste or writing in place
You’ll find all of these in the Pubray editor — a custom, non-compromise WYSIWYG built from scratch to provide ultimate convenience.
This is my personal favorite after years of suffering all kinds of code mess on Medium — including unparsable blocks of grey, GitHub embeds that disappear in Pocket or screenshots from VS Code that… 🤯
Best of WYSIWYG and Markdown
Pubray editor is 100% WYSIWYG but even though editing with the Pubray editor is a visual experience, it allows to pick block and inline formatting with shortcuts borrowed from Markdown — that engineers and bloggers alike are already familiar with. For example, write # Hello for heading, `hello` for inline code etc.
This combo provides a natural switch from code editor to web publishing. But that’s just the beginning…
Writing in own code editor
Not sure about you but I often use my favorite code editor to draft an article or a presentation and delay pasting them to web publishing platform or presentation tool for as long as possible. And while I don’t deny the nerd in me, many writers do the same — picking Markdown editors like Typora or Ulysses to achieve a perfect flow.
Pubray’s cloud sync (already mentioned above) also allows to write publications in Markdown, sync them via Dropbox and preview them live in the browser. This allows to create and refine content end-to-end in the most comfortable way, without losing the benefits of visual editing.
Custom domains and embeds
Own domain is an obvious necessity for software companies but it’s also a very common choice for tech-savvy individuals. There’s hardly any reason not to go with own domain - well, unless you’re publishing on a platform that doesn’t allow to do so.
Thankfully, that’s not the case here as Pubray offers full support for custom domains along with features like redirects for legacy paths and a full history of publication links (a.k.a. slugs).
Still, many engineers may prefer (or already have) their own website just and most software companies can’t go without their own landing pages. Pubray has them covered too with option to embed rich text pages, sections and blogs — allowing to drive traffic with quality content and removing the need to waste time reinventing the CMS or WYSIWYG logic.
Pubray embed uses History API to avoid full page reloads, improving UX and allowing to fit it into client-side apps ranging from Carrd websites to 100% custom apps built with React, Vue, Next or any other framework.
I’ll let you in on another routine in average developer’s workflow. We often assemble & run quick keynotes to demo sprint achievements, review benchmark results or share a step-by-step tutorial. Again, it’s all about getting the message across without wasting too much time on paddings or fonts. That’s why many devs that I know run presentations straight out of code editor or Markdown rendered on GitHub. While effective, it does miss the focus and suspense of slides and the shareability of Prezi & co.
Now, all articles on Pubray have the Focus button that breaks them into pages based on headings and separators. And so here’s the idea: just put your slides on Pubray and use Focus mode to do your demo or talk. Go pragmatism! 🚀
While this may seem like just a trick for geeky extremists, I can easily see this feature as a part of workflow in larger teams to efficiently build a knowledge base, shorten the path from internal conversation to a public blog and help developers spend more time on the subject matter.
Minimal design & dark mode
Many of my fellow programmers run websites that host great content yet look half-baked and unfinished. Similar to best designers that often go without fancy portfolio websites, best developers just don’t have time to build beautiful pages (details like spacings, responsiveness, notch etc take more work than it may seem). And some don’t want to, focusing just on getting the message across and rejecting excessive fanciness.
Then, there’s the dark mode. It’s a feature truly appreciated by all software industry professionals — as indicated by its introduction on most of their core platforms — including GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, Slack and Twitter. Both for aesthetics and ergonomy.
This is why developers are a great fit for platform approach with the design concern taken care of. For them, Pubray offers a unique mix of a well-polished minimalism with dark mode.
Unlocked knowledge sharing
Modern developers do their job and help others do their job by making most of online knowledge sharing (sometimes to a great extent 😂). Pubray takes that to the next level in a number of ways:
- Public access without paywalls is a default since Pubray doesn’t push writers towards paywalls and is therefore not associated with them by readers, sending the right vibes for knowledge sharing to thrive.
- Republishing allows devs to curate content for others, combine their own content with links to other quality reads on similar topic or bring own writings from many blogs to a single portfolio space.
- Path from quick presentations to HackerNews & co is shorter than ever with the ability to assemble a quick keynote in own editor, show it via Focus view and make it public after just a few final touches
- Cross-linking is vital with online presence in software spread across GitHub, HN, SO, Trello, Slack, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Pubray provides a wide selection of brand icons for linking in space navigation.
Engineers, especially web developers, are naturally very self-aware when it comes to online privacy. They’re also busy people, visiting hundreds of pages a day in order to get their job done. That’s why they often pick browsers, addons and settings that help to avoid obtrusive ads, ever-present trackers and “wolf dressed as sheep” social plugins.
Pubray’s zero-tracking & ad-free policy stands at the ready not just for tech-savvy creators, but most importantly for their audience which is often made of people with similar feelings.
At the same time, support for Plausible Analytics — a new solution that’s winning the hearts of engineers and entrepreneurs alike — allows to have a proper insight into content reception without sacrificing the privacy.
Comparison to Medium and DEV
Now let’s talk competitors. As far as I’m aware, there are two main platforms that matter in software blogging: Medium and DEV. Here’s how they compare to Pubray when it comes to above features:
Notes for warning signs:
- DEV does syntax highlighting but not during the editing (it’s not a WYSIWYG) and not with colors matching author’s branding.
- Technically, you can use any editor with DEV since they run on Markdown — as long as you like copy-pasting or own API tooling.
- Medium struggles with custom domains. They’ve rolled them back a few years ago and re-enabled recently — but for how long?
- Design on DEV is fine but many argue that it lacks refinement and I personally find it bloated with too many widgets floating around.
- Medium doesn’t enforce paywalls, but they’re ever-present with free content buried deep among the majority of premium stories.
- DEV doesn’t forbid content curation, but it doesn’t facilitate it with a convenience comparable to republishing on Pubray.
So, is Pubray a winner? Well, it surely provides an unique and powerful feature set (which this article and the above table focuses on) but to be fair & realistic Medium still has a powerful (although possibly overrated) distribution backed by millions of readers, while DEV has amassed a smaller but also healthy community behind it.
Pubray is not made just for software professionals but — being founded by a die-hard software engineer that I am — it’s bound to have a lot in its DNA that should cater for their long-unaddressed publishing needs.
Note that Pubray is just getting started and will shape based on feedback from the growing community of software pros. If you’d like to be one of them, go ahead — join for free and try it for yourself. Then, reach us at email@example.com to share feedback and ideas for making Pubray even better for software blogging.