I've been working hard on some new additions to my blog which I'm really happy to share with you today!

Memberships & Future posts

While I've become a lot more cautious regarding any promises about how often I want to publish new posts (especially since I've never really held up to these promises), I certainly wanted to make a change in how I publish posts in general.

After thinking about a bunch of ideas, I've ultimately settled for a little experiment. I don't know if or how this is going to work out, but since this is my corner of the internet I can do some experiments without causing any major issues I suppose.

What's going to change: all future guides will be released for free, but only for a certain amount of time. I haven't settled on the exact amount of time, but right now I'm thinking of something like 2 weeks. After that time these posts will become Premium posts, which will require a Premium membership for 10€ per month or 100€ per year.

While I know that the value - especially right now, with no premium posts - isn't really that great (except if you just want to support the blog ❤️), as time passes more and more Premium posts will be available, and with that, the value of the Premium membership will gradually increase.

FAQ

  • Does this change impact previously published posts?
    No. Additionally, all future posts that might require any kind of membership will indicate these requirements already in the free version, including information on how long they'll stay free.
  • Are all posts going to be Premium?
    No.
  • Do posts change after going Premium, e.g. providing more details or such?
    No. If a post requires updates due to being outdated this is being done regardless of membership requirements.
  • Doesn't the newsletter include copies of published posts?
    Yes. Newsletter subscribers (which is still free) will always get new posts per mail, including the entire post's content.

Forum

I also wanted to provide some additional value to the free membership tier, which is why I'm very happy to introduce the community forum.

It's powered by Discourse and thanks to the amazing discourse-on-ghost project you don't need to have two separate logins - you can simply log in to the forum via the blog.

This can be seen as yet another experiment, coming from me being a bit nostalgic and kinda missing the old days when many websites had their very own communities where people knew and helped each other. I still haven't found such a community for software- and web development, so why not give it a try to build one?

So if you've got any technical questions or other category-fitting topics to discuss, I'm happy to hear from you in the forum at discourse.nehalist.io!

Theme improvements

Last but not least, let's talk about the maybe-not-so-obvious theme adjustments. I really like my current theme and didn't want to change too much. Most of the time I touch it, it feels like I'm making things worse - which ultimately almost always results in reverting all my changes after a few hours.

But, to almost everyone's surprise, some tweaks survived my insecurities, which are:

  • Due to the removal of the left sidebar, the post view should be a lot clearer now. With that, the related posts have been moved to the bottom of the posts, where they hopefully appear a lot less "compressed". The post view itself now only allows focus on the main aspects of the post: the content and the table of contents.
  • The contact form no longer uses getform but a custom API built on Mailgun instead. The reason for this change is the price changes to the free plan which ultimately made the services unusable for me.
  • Major improvements to code blocks that will be visible in upcoming posts.
  • With the addition of a forum, the comments are now powered by Discourse, which allows for better formatting and more structured conversations.
  • Lots of minor tweaks and fixes.

While I do hope everything looks fine on all devices, please feel free to leave a comment, post feedback on the forum or write me if something looks a bit weird!

Final word

I'm undoubtedly excited to see how the newest additions will turn out. It might take some time to get things rolling - but I'll try my best!

See you in the forum,
– Kevin