Why I won't be moving away from WordPress

I've made some time for myself to do some personal projects, and one of the things that's been on my mind for the longest time was to move this blog away from Wordpress and host it statically on S3 instead. Serving a single static html page (plus a few resource files, but not many) from S3 would be so much faster than letting the shared hosting server parse endless lines of php, most of which I don't even want. The benefit in that aspect is clear, but in other areas it's less obvious.

Easy of deployment is one of the issues. I'm not bothered about not being able to post by email or mobile - whenever I have something to write I'll usually have my laptop with me. It doesn't bother me that it won't be WYSIWYG either (which it wouldn't be if I write my own blog software because I don't care about WYSIWYG). The problem is always with the software and the libraries. My software of choice for my would-be static blog is python, but I'll inevitably end up requiring some libraries that will need to be downloaded and/or set up on each machine that I want to publish from. Knowing myself, I will forget to do this before I go on a trip and end up having to download those libraries at ultra-slow speed at some hotel in the middle of nowhere. Or I might be on a public machine, which will be even worse.

Comments are another issue. If the blog is completely static I'd have to go for a javascript-based comment service. I also have old comments that will either have to be converted to the new commenting system or else inserted into the html somehow if I want to preserve them. Again, there are solutions, but they're hardly easier than what I have with WordPress.

Finally there's the issue of dynamic pages: the calendar, archive and search functionality. Calendar and archive pages are pretty easily generated, but I'd either have to remove the search function or rely on an external service for that. Bleh.

The system I had in mind would be a collection of small tools:

  • A converter tool to convert a wordpress database into raw blogpost/page files (the exact format of which I would have to think about).
  • A compiler tool that reads the raw posts and writes usable html
    • Inserts content into a predefined template, I was thinking Django templates. This doesn't have to be fast.
    • Regenerates related pages (front page, archives, calenders, category pages)
    • Converts any markdown text to html
  • <li>An uploader tool that publishes the generated html
    • Would upload to S3, perhaps pluggable so other providers would work too.
    • Would be smart enough to recognize linked images/files and upload those too.

I'd leave the template design and making the javascript commenting system work all up to the user, since that'd be a one-off job (for me, anyway). The goal of all this is to make my life easier, but it's an awful lot of work for an awfully small amount of easiness.. Anyway, if someone else would also be interested in using something like this (or willing to pay for something like this!) then do let me know.


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Stats of a trickling personal blog

Here's Wordpress/Jetpack's annual report for this blog in 2012. Not many surprises there. These days my blog gets anywhere between 50-100 hits per day, and more than half of that is from search engines. It's about what you'd expect for a non-focused personal blog. In a way I'm pleased. Even without doing any SEO, even without promoting this blog anywhere, there's still people reading it.

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About this blog

The poll I added a couple of weeks ago did not prove very popular: I got a total of 8 votes -___-. So that won't really affect my choice in genre for future articles. I'll continue like before, with one notable change: 2010 will have an exciting long-lasting storyline! What that storyline will be is something I will hopefully be able to reveal next week, or next next week.

Until then, let me amuse you with some infornography:

  • Average number of views per day: between 30 and 60
  • Most popular article by far: Aokigahara, the suicide forest. This generates about three times as much traffic every day than all other pages (including the front page) combined.
  • This blog was imported from my old blog Wakaremichi at the end of 2007.
  • Since starting Wakaremichi (then called ZooiEnzo, which is Dutch for StuffAndThings) I have published 797 blogposts, and I've written at least 30 drafts that I was too embarrassed about to publish.

I started blogging because I was about to start living in Japan. Should I stop blogging when I leave? Or maybe when I'm 'integrated'? I do like the idea of a global theme throughout a blog, which was the main reason why I moved from Wakaremichi to The colorful wolf; it was the signal that I was getting used to life in Japan, and from that point on the variety of topics increased to also include stuff not directly related to Japan. Maybe during the span of this year a redesign would be appropriate.

Posted in Daily Life , Tech | Tagged , ,