Tailoring the Writeas Experience

Write.as excels at offering a distraction-free writing experience. However, with a bit of CSS, Javascript and digital elbow grease, pro users can take the platform's minimal framework and modify it to make their blogs & websites more versatile. Typical font family and navigation customsation aside, over the past few months I've been trying out various tweaks and additions to DigitalGyoza, in many cases with great help from the very clever people[^1] over at the Write.as forums.

Here is a list of a few tricks & features I've implemented on DigitalGyoza...

1 Custom Footer – Code helpfully provided by Aris I took this one step further by using visual icons and changing the standard links to image links.

2 Responsive iFrames for embedded content – Davidwalsh.name This is a super useful bit of code which enables any iframe embedded content such as videos and other media to become max-width and fully responsive, so that they're not halfway off the page for mobile view or when reducing the size of your browser window.

3 Embed.ly Widgets – Embed.ly Want to share something on your site but don't have the option to embed it? Embed.ly can provide you with the code to do just that. The trick for Write.as is to drop the <script> section separately into the “Custom Javascript” field on the blog's customisation page as

// src: https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

4 Twitter Widgets with center alignment – Pamela Vaughan at Hubspot A very neat little trick to get embedded tweets to sit nicely in the middle of your posts. Again, the <script> should be entered in the “Custom Javascript” section, this time as

// src: https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

5 Embedding dynamic RSS feeds from other websites – A huge thank you to C J Eller for producing this awesome Glitch.me project to take an RSS feed and display it as a dynamically updating post. I've used this to show my Pocket feed as a links page.

6 Footnotes on posts– Code kindly shared by CountFenring A really nice addition to the general markdown format that Write.as uses, which allows you to add smart-looking footnotes to your writing.[^2]

7 Commento Comments – A privacy-focused commenting system. This one is the latest addition, and a pretty lightweight & nifty tie-over until Write.as comments are available natively. I first saw Commento on Teohem's (another Write.as user) recent blog post. The platform offers either a free, open-source version or a hosted option for a small fee, based on a “pay what you want” basis. You can check out the appearance of the comments below. The usual social logins are available, or you can even allow anonymous comments (if you are brave enough). The back-end CMS is handled on their side, with you having your own moderating tools.

How have you personalised your blogs and websites?

[1] Notable mentions to Matt (obviously), Aris, CJEller, CountFenring, Bix, lhl... you guys are awesome.

[2] Like this!