Best Digital Garden solution for online

Hi All,

I need to build a website that is a legacy site containing material from a deceased public figure. The content of the website will be text, photos, pdfs and audio. The idea would be that over time the material would be linked together by connecting topics. It also needs to have MOC’s (Maps of Content) that would create entry points into the material from different perspectives. We want the site to be a place people can explore the material and follow connections and trails. The material is currently in the form of books (out of print), pdfs, audio and some (very few) photos.

I’d like to start by putting the material online and then begin the process of connecting topics.

What would be best to use for this? I did think of some sort of wiki, but am not sure. I don’t really want a lot of overhead in maintaining a platform as well as working with the material.

I have some knowledge of web design and currently use Rapidweaver and Pinegrow to maintain a couple of low-key sites.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Sounds like a site like Squarespace might be a good solution. You can try it out without giving them your credit card.

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I agree that Squarespace might be an option, but I’d also consider Obsidian publish since linking connected topics and a wiki-like structure is important.

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This article might provide you with a few ideas and options


Thanks that was a helpful article.

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I would caution against Squarespace if you have a lot of files that you simply want to link to. Squarespace does not have a way to bulk upload files into a directory, and there’s no way to upload files that are to be linked later. In fact, up until recently, it didn’t even have a way to re-use the same image on the site. Now there is an image picker interface that allows access to previously-used images, but it’s limited.

If you don’t have huge amounts of content, Squarespace is good option because it’s easy to use and understand, and because it’s a web app, it is easy to hand off the site for someone else to maintain or even own.

It is not for building a database-backed web site. You can hard-code it to behave like that, of course, but at some point it will become unmanageable. I am currently moving a site from a database structure to Squarespace. With 25 objects that can have any of 25 characteristics, it’s a tedious job. But the original designers flaked out on my customer, so they’ve determined that they need a web site that can be maintained by a non-expert. Because the contents of their site won’t change frequently, Squarespace is an acceptable option.

Squarespace has a free 2-week trial that is not limited, so you could build a sample site and see if it’s the right fit. (Also: if two weeks isn’t enough time, Squarespace will extend the trial if you ask nicely when the trial expires. Or, at least they used to do this — since they’ve had their IPO, some things have changed.) Feel free to message me directly if you have any questions.


Squarespace does seem to be a possibility, but seems a bit costly.

Obsidian Publish is also an option (I’m grandfathered in at the early-bird price). With Obsidian I think I’d need to host files elsewhere as they have a 4GB site limit. This is not a major issue as they’re currently on Amazon S3

I have used Jekyll before and SSG will push out a simple site.

Some good options here to think about. Thank you.

Take a look at; it’s open sources, a decade or more old, designed originally for digital exhibits from libraries and museums. There’s a paid hosted option as well. Like Joomla or WordPress.or, many hosts offer one-click installs.


Never heard of it before, but it looks really good. The paid hosted versions won’t break the bank either. Thank you.

This is a charity site that I maintain at cost.

I’ve always seen Wordpress to be more chronologically focused, which is not what I need. I do like the plethora of plugins, but this is also its greatest weakness.

I maintain a family history research project as well as a digital museum relating to a well known family during the Swedish empire. Some of the tools I use might meet your requirements.

If you use Craft already, it’s a great way to share media and resources. You can see an example of my research arm with MoC here:

To maintain the museum collections, I use a WordPress + Tainacan, which is a great free plugin for maintaining collections, displaying multimedia, etc. You can see tan example here:


Can you use a custom domain with Craft web sharing?

I think the first one is craft and is a custom domain.

I would love to hear how you get on with this.


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Yes, you can use a custom domain. The only limitation is one domain per account.

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