SSG to WordPress

For the last year I haven’t added a post to my blog. It isn’t like I haven’t written anything. I just never got around to polishing it and posting. Note to self stop, trying to be a perfectionist you have never even close. My blog was running on Hugo, a very capable static site generator (SSG). I even posted about my move from Drupal. Now I find myself back to a dynamic site and this time it is WordPress. I want to use my web site as place where I curate not just professional stuff but everything including my hobbies. I want to have more time to do other things and not spend time maintaining a website. I just want to use the sensible defaults the experts have chosen.

My reasons for moving away from Hugo are all personal. None of them have anything to do with how good or bad Hugo is as a SSG. Here are a few of them:

  • I don’t blog or update my web site frequently enough. Every time I want to change something I had to relearn how to use Hugo. It would take me hours to figure the simplest change. As stated before this is reflection of my lack of skill.
  • Breaking changes. After some months I would upgrade Hugo only to have an error building my side.
  • Editing experience. I love Markdown and use it whenever I can to make first draft of a document. When you need to add links and images you have to manually add them. Below is a screenshot of how easy it is in WordPress to link to an existing post of mine

Continuing on Markdown, I found it difficult to add nested tables and resorted to including them in my posts as HTML. I also struggled to remember the different shortcodes Hugo makes available. Shortcodes are used to enhance Markdown, to support elements not supported in Markdown.

In a nutshell using Hugo for me was now became a sort of a chore. I guess I developed a mental block of some sort.

I have helped a few friends set up some web sites. I used to go with Drupal but Drupal 8 is targeted at enterprise clients. The last three web sites I made used WordPress and if I am going to help my friends including my sister maintain their sites I might as well use the same platform. No need to relearn another platform. Again, a personal choice and not a reflection of Drupal’s capability.

This is fairly simple testing the waters post but I have enjoyed the process. I click F11 to put my browser in full-screen mode. I hid the WordPress menus on the side and I had a near distraction free editing environment. I am aware of the added burden of having to maintain a database and keeping my site secure. I have traded the editing convenience for maintenance convenience. Time will tell.

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