Write Freely

Painless, federated, self-hosted blogging platform.

We've just released version 0.2! This includes a ton of basic fixes, especially around installation, and some bigger things like federation with Pleroma.

New Features

  • See how many fediverse followers your blogs have
  • WriteFreely now works with Pleroma

Application Fixes

  • Fix individual post ActivityStreams data fetching, so boosting works (#4)
  • Use WriteFreely avatars in social media image preview, instead of Write.as logo

Installation Fixes

  • Fix template loading on Windows (#2)
  • Fix database errors around default values (#3, #7)
  • Don't unnecessarily connect to DB after configuring multi-user instance
  • Show any errors when server start fails
  • Fix encryption key loading on Windows
  • Move encryption key generation from keys.sh to writefreely --gen-keys

Upgrading from v0.1

Download the latest release for your operating system. Stop running your writefreely service, replace all files in your installation with the ones in the archive, and then start your writefreely service again.

Important: always keep config.ini and the files in your keys directory across all upgrades — don't delete or replace these manually.

Database migrations are manual for now! Fun! To upgrade, connect to your database and run:

ALTER TABLE `remoteusers` DROP `followers`;


It's been several months since we launched ActivityPub support on Write.as and entered the fediverse. That was an exciting month, where we saw a ton of energy around what we're building, as well as plenty of people wishing we were open source.

As we said then, going open source for us wasn't going to be as simple as slapping a free license on our code and then distributing it. We care about doing this right from the start, and creating a self-hosted product people actually want to use. We also wanted to build a self-hosted blogging platform for everyone, including those outside the fediverse.

So we promised it'd be done by the end of the year, but it looks like New Year's is coming early this year. Today we're officially launching v0.1 of WriteFreely, our free, self-hosted version of Write.as.

WriteFreely lets you start your own community of writers, optionally with ActivityPub enabled, so you can join the larger fediverse and spread your writing on the decentralized social web. You'll be able to set up a space for your small gathering of writers, who can all create multiple blogs under one account, save drafts, and even customize their blogs with CSS. You can also use WriteFreely to host your own minimalist blog with the same distraction-free writing experience you love on Write.as.

This is just the beginning, and we're excited to finally get this out to the world. We'll be quickly moving toward version 1.0, but to get started with your own instance today, check out our guide.


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