Robert Birming

Why I chose Bear for blogging

I want to start by saying that this will not be a "Bear is best" or "10 reasons why you should switch to Bear" kind of post.

There are many excellent blogging platforms available nowadays. The concept of "better" is not especially relevant. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and requirements.

This post outlines why I chose Bear after trying many different tools. If your blogging preferences align with mine, then Bear might be the right platform for you too. If you're already happy with your current tool, congratulations – no need to keep reading.


At the last minute, I decided to leave this part out. Not that Bear isn't easy to use, it's very straightforward, but so are most other "indie platforms". You'll be up and running in no time, no matter what you pick.


Simplicity, in most cases, equals "not very customizable". Not when it comes to Bear. Here you get the best of both worlds: simplicity AND customization. It's a pretty unique product in that sense. Check out the Neat Bear features page for some examples.


Bear comes with nearly 30 ready-made themes to choose from in the dashboard. There are also quite a few created by Bear users, such as the McLuhan Lite Theme. If you want to take it one step further, there’s a nifty built-in style editor that gives you endless ways to add custom styles to your blog.


Most blogging platforms support the handy markup language Markdown. However, most built-in editors do it in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) way. This usually means that if you want to copy something back to your text editor, the markdown is lost. With Bear, it's all in plain text, and the markup is preserved.


Even if I don’t care much about statistics, I do find it enjoyable and motivating to learn where my audience is from and how they discovered my content. Bear provides a convenient built-in analytics tool that is sufficient for most bloggers. If you need more advanced features, you can always integrate other services.


The community of Bear bloggers is something very special and beautiful. There are so many interesting and inspiring bloggers and posts to discover and explore – all without ever leaving the domain. Once you’re in, it’s hard to leave. This was definitely one of the reasons for me to get back on Bear blog - for life.

I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
"Relax," said the night man, "We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave"


Another important aspect for me was to know that this is a platform that will be around for as long as I stick around. Reading posts by Herman Martinus, the creator of Bear, like Building software to last forever and My product is my garden feels very valuable to me.


I don't like subscriptions. Whenever possible, I opt for a one-time, lifetime purchase instead of an ongoing subscription. With Bear, if you decide to upgrade (using it for free works fine), you have three options:

What's missing?

Bear comes with a way to collect email addresses, but you'll need another tool to email your subscribers. I wish there was a built-in email subscription feature. It doesn't have to be anything advanced, just a simple way for readers to be notified by email when a new post is published.

These are my main reasons for choosing Bear for blogging. It fits my blogging workflow and my reasons for writing.

Thank you, Herman, and all the wonderful Bear bloggers who continue to inspire me to keep blogging.

PS. If Bear isn’t for you and you still haven’t found a platform that fits your needs, I recommend you take a look at Manu’s great list of all the blog platforms.