If you're reading this then the update to WordPress 5.4 was successful. Updates are always a little nerve-wracking when so much of your site is hand coded and held together with chewing gum and sticky tape. You're never entirely sure that it's going to load up or work properly afterwards.

Still, everything keeps going, feeds get built and mails sent so I suppose I'm being a little hard on myself. That's just how it feels.

For some time, and especially since the introduction of the new editor in WordPress 5, I've seen the paths that I and the CMS are on diverge considerably. While I may have completely changed how the blog operates, and added all sorts of tweaks and features, my overarching goal is to make things simpler, cleaner, to strip it back so that there is less to distract from the words.

WordPress itself, on the other hand, is increasingly about being more and better. There are ever more options and ways to present your posts, more blocks to include and manage media, new APIs to tweak all sorts of things. It's easy to see how WordPress is so many things to so many people and why it makes up so much of the web.

I don't want or need any of that. In fact, you might wonder why I still use WordPress rather than going for something simpler. The main reason is familiarity; while I may not be a dev and there's a lot of stuff I don't know I know enough PHP and my way around WordPress to get it to do most of what I want.

I could switch to another type of blogging system, something more in tune with my desired aesthetics, maybe a static site builder, but it would take me way too long to learn enough. I feel that I would be compromising the way I want to blog, the way I want things to work, for the sake of moving.

Yes, WordPress is way too complex for my needs but I'm not sure the trade offs would be worth it.

  1. AlanRalph says: #
    I'm in a similar position to you. I've looked at the various static site generators, and my impression is that they're just transferring the complexity from the web hosting to your computer. Yes, WordPress is a beast, particularly once you start adding plugins to the mix, but it's fairly easy to setup and maintain.
    1. Agreed on that point about moving the complexity. Additionally, my experience with Jekyll and Hugo indicates that I would loose more (extensibility) than I would gain (speed). I have 15 years worth of blogging in nearly 7000 posts. How would I move those 7000 posts to a static site generator?
  2. Colin Walker says: #
    I have several plugins (a number of which were written by myself to support the way I want to blog) but nothing that is an administrative burden or excessively changes the platform and adds extra complexity. Even so, it sometimes still seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
  3. jack says: #
    One benefit of static sites is speed, yes. That part is free (no caching plugins, etc). For me the other draw is permanence and stability. The complexity moves local, but that also means the complexity is removed from the published site. This improves security, speed, hosting requirements, portability, and permanence for the site people are actually using. If something breaks, it happens on my machine and no one notices. I can leave a static site sit on a server somewhere indefinitely, without too much concern about breakage or vulnerabilities. Having git history of content is pretty great too. I've moved 3000 or 4000 posts from my Wordpress site to Hugo (several times :)) without too much grief. Hugo renders updates in under 3 seconds. The downside is the publishing workflow and customizations become...different. :). The benefits aren't worth the tradeoffs for many, but they're there.
  4. AlanRalph says: #
    The answer, I suspect, is 'with difficulty'. This isn't so much WordPress's fault, as to their credit they do have export options built-in.

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