Switching blogging platform failures

April 22, 2020 Length: 3 min Back to Posts

My roommate gave me an idea to start back up blogging to get some ideas flowing. Looking back at my blog, I realized how many things I worked on while blogging. It is easy to get in a rut and stay inert, and that is where I am right now. Maybe starting to blog again could get my curiosity sparked a bit more.

Moving to Gatsby

Static site generators have been around for a while now. They are a web system to “easily” create websites and blogs if you have some web development skills. The tutorials make it sound like you don’t need to be technical. After going through the tutorials on their site, though, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While I have web development experience and understood the material, I don’t see a non-technical person ever building a site with something like Gatsby. Is it something I could use though since I do have a technical background?

I spent a couple days on their website and went through all their basic tutorials. I have a decent understanding of the framework and the neat things some libraries can do like React, Node.JS, and GraphQL. I pushed out a small static site with how a blog could work. http://scottpetrovic.com/gatsby/

Something happened with the individual blog posts so they aren’t linked correctly in the URLs. Here the two samples posts are if you are interested: one and two. To generate the URL locations, it is done while the project is building and it references the file path to figure it out. I could probably fix it, but don’t care at this point.

After going through this exercise, it is becoming more clear that static site generators aren’t something I want to use for blogging for a few reasons:

  1. I need to be at a specific computer to be able to write and build a post that has Gatsby set up
  2. Too many manual build steps, checks
  3. Having to manually copy files to a web server for every post
  4. Writing in HTML or markdown just isn’t a great experience if you do a lot of writing

WordPress is my home

Maybe at the ripe age of 35, I am not adjusting to new technology. Or maybe I just want to focus on writing when I partake in any blogging activity. I don’t want to open up a terminal and type any commands. I certainly don’t want to have to get on my FTP client and move files around every time I want to publish something. There are other places like GitHub that have Gatsby hooks to automatically build the project, but that is still too many steps.

With WordPress, I see the final result immediately as I am typing. I hit a button to either save or publish and that is it. I upgraded this install to WordPress 5.0 which has the new code block editor. That is also the reason for the nice drop cap thing at the start of the post that older posts don’t have.

Hi, I'm Scott

I mostly keep this blog to help me remember things. Writing is also a great way to understand things at a deeper level. I would highly recommend it if you don't write at all.