This weekend I made a snap decision to change platforms for Existential Dreams. Up until now I had been using WordPress. A platform that I’ve used off and on for many years. I’m now using Hugo, a popular static site generator in combination with a slightly modified version of the Minimo theme. This is the same combination that I’m now using with my main website.
Now that the dust has settled I’m taking a moment to reflect on my decision. One that’s been bubbling around in the back of my mind for a while.
First, writing is something that I keep wanting to do. I find it quite difficult at times to find the motivation, but the drive is always there. To best capitalise on the desire I need the experience to be as frictionless as possible.
Writing for my site is now as simple as opening Atom and writing in markdown. The Gutenburg editor in WordPress was too ‘loud’. In the sense that it proved distracting. I have no desire to think about blocks and things. I need to focus on the words.
Second, I didn’t like how the Jetpack plugin kept prompting me for things that I don’t need. I have my own backup strategy in place, and I don’t need to know how many people visit my site. I know that the total number of visitors is in single digits, I don’t need to be reminded of that. I also found using a service that was tracking users uncomfortable.
Third, there is something inelegant about running code over and over again for content that doesn’t change. The static site generation model is attractive for this reason. Hugo is blindingly fast at generating the site, and server resources aren’t wasted running the same PHP code over and over again.
Ultimately the decision came down to the tool that best suits my needs. It used to be WordPress, and now it is Hugo. At some point in the future it may be another platform. Neither platform is intrinsically better than the other, the both have positives and negatives.
The critical thing is that I’ve not only renewed the website, I’ve renewed my desire to write. Now I need to hold onto the drive to write with both hands, and as Alan Baxter says just do the f███ing work.