I’ve been running this blog on Wordpress since 2012 but it’s time to move on. There hasn’t been any single “WTF” moment with Wordpress but a few factors have finally combined to push me away. I’ve never been particularly interested in the blogging platform but it’s important that it doesn’t get in the way.
Markdown is a nice format for technical posts and though Wordpress does support markdown it doesn’t do a great job of it. Recently I have found myself writing the post once in an editor, pasting the markdown into the WP editor and then manually reformatting half of it. The handling of code samples has been particularly painful - sometimes I’ve found myself manually replacing
> on every component to get it displaying correctly.
I’ve never loved the themes available on Wordpress but I’ve not been prepared to invest the time in creating my own. The Gatsby version of the blog has the twin benefits of 1. starting out simple; and 2. being easy to edit myself (as it’s all written in React).
I am currently paying Wordpress for the mapping to
greatrexpectations.com but I can get that for free elsewhere.
The new version of the blog is written with the following:
Now my workflow is to hack together a markdown file on my laptop and
git push to publish.
Migrating the old content from Wordpress was more painful than I expected. Wordpress will happily provide you with an XML export but converting that into markdown wasn’t as simple as expected. Several tools promise to handle this automatically but in the end I rolled my own that was pretty specific to my content.
Wordpress did (and does) some things really well:
The stats available in the Wordpress app are pretty great and I’ll definitely miss the quick glance to see how a new post is doing. I’ll eventually get round to replicating the functionality in Google Analytics but I doubt it will be as slick.
Wordpress automatically posts to LinkedIn and Twitter (and a few other places, if I set them up) when I publish a post. It also maintains a directory of people who have subscribed to my blog and notifies them of new posts. I am yet to work out a way of dealing with either of these myself but for now there is at least an RSS feed.