Write Freely


Today we're excited to launch our new service, WriteFreely.host! This is a fully-managed hosting service for anyone who wants to start their own writing community, powered by our software.

Instead of going through the technical work of installing WriteFreely yourself, with this new service we set up and host your site for you — that means we take care of maintenance, backups, and constant upgrades — all for one low monthly cost. To get started, all you need is a domain name.

Once you're up and running, you can choose what your community is about. Write your own about page and privacy policy through the admin control panel; Choose how many lightweight blogs everyone in your community gets; Enable federation to let your writers share their posts to the fediverse; Turn on the Reader to showcase everyone's work in one place.

You can also try out a demo to see what a WriteFreely community looks like!

To get this service off the ground, we're taking 50% off the normal rate for our first several customers. There are only a few spots left, so if you've ever wanted to start your own blogging community, now is a great time to get started!


Today's release features two major additions, one to make installation easier, and the other to make discovery easier. Let's jump in.


SQLite support (T529)

You no longer need MySQL / MariaDB to store data for your instance! Just select SQLite during the configuration process to use it instead of the MySQL driver.

Reader / local timeline (T554)

Take a break from writing to see what others on your instance have written! Admins can now turn on the Local timeline option in the Admin panel ([app] local_timeline in config.ini) to enable this for both writers on your instance and the wider public. The local timeline functions just like Read Write.as — it includes an RSS feed, and is opt-in. Writers can start publishing their work on the feed by going into their blog settings and choosing the Public visibility option.

More changes

  • Ability to create admin user from the command-line with: --create-admin username:password (T544)
  • Specify non-default configuration file to use with various commands via new -c [filename] flag
  • Host highlight.js and MathJax locally, instead of on CloudFlare (T551)

Upgrading from v0.5.x

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.

No additional steps are needed to upgrade from v0.5.x. Follow the instructions in each previous #release if you're upgrading from an earlier version.


Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release!

@BenOvermyer @kaiyou