A few months ago I got the itch to move off of WordPress and onto some kind of static blog generator system. I read and researched and finally settled on OctoPress and set it up on GitHub pages. There has been a lot of attention to static blog and site generation over the last year or so and there are definitely use cases for them, but I’ve decided they are not for me. What I found was that, while I could host my blog for free on GitHub (after jumping through a few hoops), there were several issues with using OctoPress that made me crazy.
I blog so rarely that I always had to look up the commands for how to turn a post that I had written in markdown(!) into an actual HTML page. Once that’s done the rest is just simple Git commands for pushing it up to the GitHub repo so that it could be browsed. Not being very familiar with Ruby at all, every time I got ready to blog, the technology always seemed to get in my way. And, let’s face it, my blogging is so sporadic that I don’t need any tiny little thing getting in the way.
Secondly, MARKDOWN! I have never understood the appeal of the markdown syntax. It’s like someone decided they were too lazy to write HTML and therefore just had to come up with something else. Again, not liking it and not using it often, it seemed like every time I wanted to write a post, I was spending more time trying to figure out how to make the formatting do what I wanted than actually writing content.
Lastly, comments in static sites are a royal PITA. The prevailing solution for comments is Disqus which seems to work well for some people. However, I attempted to export my comments from my former WordPress install and never could seem to get them to show up correctly on the posts they were supposed to. Also, Disqus has this idea of comments and discussions that is confusing to me. Some of the posts’ comments got imported as discussions and some as comments, with seemingly no rhyme or reason as to which would get used.
Continuing the baseball theme here, the only logical conclusion for me is to call OctoPress OUT! Thankfully I saved the webroot files and a MySQL dump of the previous WordPress install. So last night I set up a droplet on Digital Ocean and installed WordPress again. The amount of templates and plugins available and the size of the WordPress community make it hard to compete with. Plus, when the occasion does present itself and I get the urge to actually write a post, I’m a login and 2 mouse clicks away with WordPress.
So, experiment over…WordPress it is.