I’ve been blogging for around 10 years now and my habits have changed over time. When I first started blogging, I had a personal site where I covered a little of everything from technology to politics to art. After a few years, I decided I needed a separate site to focus on technology and this site was born.
Over time, I have blogged less and less. I love to write, but now there are many mediums (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.) to absorb some of the content. Plus, I am taking on far more projects than I used to, which means less free time for writing. When I first started blogging, WordPress was a great solution. It was in PHP (which, for better or worse, was a language I knew), evolving rapidly, and incredibly easy. Now that I can go months without posting any updates, I find that WordPress security releases seem to come out as often as I blog. Although I’ve always used subversion tags to quickly upgrade, the plugins are also seeing frequent updates, and the whole system is ultimately more work than it is worth for an infrequent blogger. I’ve decided it’s time for a change.
I looked at a few different options and ultimately settled on Jekyll. The simplified description is that it transforms text into HTML. Given that it’s static HTML, there aren’t the myriad of security vulnerabilities to be concerned about that you have with WordPress, and it’s also incredibly fast.
I have exported all my previous content, so nothing is lost, but I still have some work to do. I need to better update the styling for the site (I did the bare minimum to get it to look acceptable, but I certainly know more about design than I did years ago). I also need to decide what to do about comments. I’ve had some great comments on a variety of posts in the past, so I made sure to back up all of that data. My initial plan is to include the archived comments on each page but not have comments on new pages. Although I feel that comments can add a lot to posts, I really like the idea of not dealing with third parties or form handling.
I also dropped a lot of the pages that WordPress generates for you such as tag pages and category pages. As the creator of this blog, I find them particularly helpful, but I checked the analytics and found they account for less than 1% of page views on the site. With an emphasis on lean and efficient, they seemed like pages worth cutting.