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Niche Blog Platform Svbtle Goes Paid, Adds $6 a Month Fee

42e89e02ef6e7a798d74e8bdf7ed4364[1]When the alternative blog platform Svbtle launched in 2011, it followed the big boys (WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger) and offered a free service.  Svbtle was invite only back then, but even after it opened up to the public earlier this year the service was still free.

That changed today. TNW reports that Svbtle is now charging bloggers $6 a month for the service. Existing users can still post for free, but any new users will have to pay.

In exchange for the monthly fee, the new users will have the option of setting a custom domain, and they’ll also have access to at least a few features which existing paid users don’t have, including email subscriptions.

I haven’t used Svbtle myself, but I have been following it distantly. According to its creator, Svbtle was launched in response to existing platforms which "become too complicated by focusing on the wrong things". Svbtle was developed with the goal of focusing on what was really important:

Svbtle is designed to highlight the things that matter; it’s an extremely simple platform for collecting and developing ideas, sharing them with the world, and reading them. That’s it. We’ve focused all of our energy into designing the simplest interface possible for accomplishing these goals. Svbtle is blogging with everything else stripped away.

I’ve never used Svbtle, but he could well be right. One thing I’ve noticed after using WordPress for nearly 5 years is that it’s really not all that useful at developing a blog post. The interface is too complicated, too complex, and too busy for that, and as a result most of my posts come from ideas, concepts, and thoughts tesseracting around inside my own head (as opposed to typing them and letting them go from mind to screen to mind again).

I have only found WordPress useful at getting an idea down, not developing it, so I can see the appeal of a platform like Svbtle.


I don’t cover this enough on this blog, but over the past few years we’ve seen multiple new niche blog platforms launch, almost as if we were in the beginnings of a renaissance (or bubble, of you prefer the pessimistic view). In addition to Svbtle, there’s also Medium (which is both a publisher and a platform), PostHaven, Ghost, and a bunch more which I am only just learning about today.

Have you used one of these platforms? I’d love to read what you think.


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Greg Strandberg September 22, 2014 um 12:16 pm

Sounds like there’ll be a big uptick in those ditching this service. The before and after post on this one will be nice to come across in six months.

Nate Hoffelder September 22, 2014 um 2:38 pm

I wouldn’t be too sure. A lot of these niche platforms charge for the service. They seem to do okay.

Angela Booth September 23, 2014 um 1:28 am

I like Svbtle’s concept, and Ghost’s too. I checked them out a while ago. They remind me of Medium, on which I’ve blogged just once in the past couple of years.

I can see these minimalist platforms' appeal for someone who’s new to blogging, but once you’ve got an established blog, you’re looking for a killer feature. Otherwise, you might as well stay where you are.

WordPress may be a beast, but it’s a beast which can do just about anything you’d like it to do. Bottom line: WordPress has proven itself trustworthy. So, while I might grumble about WordPress, there’s a whole crowd of very smart people working to make it faster and better.

There’s another consideration too. I still wince when I remember the time I spent blogging on Posterous. The founders dumped Posterous to go work at Twitter, without much of a backward glance. Any developer who’s setting up a blogging platform surely hopes that someone will buy them out. Too bad for their customers.

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