About WriteFreely

WriteFreely is free and open source software for easily publishing writing on the web. Use it to start a personal blog — or an entire community. Get started.

What's different about it?

WriteFreely is stubbornly focused on being a truly simple blogging platform, doing more than other platforms to help you focus, write, and publish your thoughts.

We care about you, the person

There are enough places on the web built to hog your attention; keep you scrolling and checking your feed, hoping for a new like or retweet. WriteFreely gives you the space to think for yourself again, free from alerts, feeds, and the distractions of classic social media.

It's been called the "the social media hater’s blogging platform" — which is fairly apt, but not a prerequisite for using the platform.

Simple, yet powerful

We built WriteFreely to help you do one thing: get your words online. So we've removed as much friction as possible to help you do that. The application always opens to the editor, so you can start writing immediately and just press publish when you're done.

Yet beneath our plain exterior is a robust, mature API, a hashtag organization system, encoded best practices for SEO, support for photos and videos, Markdown and MathJax rendering, and many features of any major blogging platform — unlocked with only a bit of plain text.

Free and open

WriteFreely is free and open source software, licensed under the AGPL. That means you can look under the hood and freely modify it to your liking.

What do I need to set it up?

You'll need some basic experience with the command line, and access to a server where you can run an executable. There are no dependencies to install — only the WriteFreely application itself (which runs anywhere!).

What was it built with?

WriteFreely is a Go (golang) application, built with LESS and some plain Javascript on the frontend. This makes it easy to quickly understand and modify to your liking; you can deploy it anywhere; and it's fast, too.

It can be backed by a MySQL or a SQLite database. You can deploy it on a cloud server with as little as 256 MB RAM, or even a Raspberry Pi.

What is the code licensed under?

WriteFreely is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License, version 3.

How can I contribute?

We welcome pull requests, but ask that you sign our Contributor License Agreement. This grants us a few additional rights, like the ability to relicense your contributions if we need to.

What's the story?

WriteFreely started as a privacy-focused writing platform called Write.as in late 2014. You couldn't even sign up for it if you wanted to — it let you publish individual, anonymous posts, and that's it. It was a small, scrappy project focused on one thing: helping anyone (not just geeks) quickly get their words online, with their privacy intact.

Throughout 2015, we launched Write.as apps for Android, iOS, Chrome OS, the web, Windows/Mac/Linux via the command-line, and a browser extension. As more people started using the platform, we started building more of the features they asked for, and then asked them for their feedback. Through constant communication we took a platform we built for ourselves and started building it around a community.

A common refrain we heard was that people wanted to bring all their anonymous posts together into a blog. In 2016, we launched accounts and blogs, with a freemium business model that exists to this day. Over the next two years, we organically grew the platform, gently improving it along the way. We kept the product deliberately simple, and calmly pursued the financial sustainability that would set the project up to stick around for decades to come.

In late 2018, after adding support for the ActivityPub protocol, we turned our focus to refactoring the Write.as codebase. We released it under a free license, naming it WriteFreely, and that's the project you see here today.