Back to WordPress from Jekyll


UPDATE April 2015: Well, that didn't last long. I'm on Hugo now, which is as convenient as Jekyll but is crazy fast.

The cool people say you should never blog or podcast about your backend production, because its unprofessional and people don’t want to hear about it. If you’re one of those cool people, avert your eyes.

As I approach the big three-oh (dear god), I’ve identified two interesting trends. If a desired activity is easier to do, one will perform it more regularly. For others like exercise the reverse is true.

In 2013, I decided to lower the barrier to entry for blogging and move to Jekyll. All the cool people were going the statically generated site route again, and it seemed like an easier approach than juggling a WordPress stack.

From a technical standpoint, it is.

The novelty lasted until the end of last year. By that point, I was missing the rich metadata of hosted CMSs, and was generating tag archives as well. As if creating over four thousand pages weren’t time consuming enough, it was now taking 20+ minutes to generate what basically amounts to a dumb cache.

(Dumb in the sense of functionality, not that a cache is inherently stupid).

Sure, I could roll my own static site generator that doesn’t rely on superfluous markdown parsers and re-generating unchanged assets. Or I could see how Rails has changed in the four years I’ve been gone (or see if Django has got any better). Or I could even take a bullet to the head and learn Node, then learn how to tap dance and write a novel. What’s stopping me, its not like I have anything but time on my hands, right?

For now though, its back to the devil I know. WordPress is still a special snowflake, but Ansible and Git have made this substantially easier and less error-prone since the last time I rolled it out.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

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