Will I always be a static website person?

TL;DR No.

I’m typing this post in the WordPress editor. I don’t enjoy writing here unless I’m adding an image gallery or some other fancy embedded content. It just feels off. “So write in MarsEdit or Ulysses or something instead,” you implore. Nah. I’ve tried that and decided that if I’m going to write in one place and publish somewhere else, I may as well just write in Emacs and publish a static website.

Speaking of static websites, this site was static just three weeks ago. It’s always a relief moving from a static blog to WordPress or Ghost. Everything becomes so easy! No futzing with rendering or deployment scripts. Images are just there, and properly sized and cached. Mmmm, good. But, easy doesn’t mean fun or nice. There’s no way around the fact that WordPress is big and a bit janky to work with. It may have everything one needs for maintaining a blog, but it also has everything one might possibly ever need. Those things inevitably get in the way and make the experience less fun.

There’s also the permanence thing. For example, my 20-year blog archive just runs on a simple, static, cheap Digital Ocean droplet. I never think about hosting it. I don’t worry (as much) about security or patches or upgrades. It just sits there, idling, almost entirely on its own. And, I always have a rendered version locally, right next to the original Markdown (and Org mode) source files. Everything is managed in Git and backed up easily with a simple file copy.

WordPress, while easy to host, needs to be watched closely and constantly. Things can break. Backups are more complex. Everything is more complex, really.

What it comes down to for me, I think, is that having a static website feels better to me. It feels right.

I love tinkering with different blog engines and methods. I’ll probably always switch between them. It’s fun! But for the long haul, and for peace of mind, I find that running a static site is better for me in the long run.

So don’t be surprised if your RSS feed is pummelled with duplicates again, soon. Sorry again for the noise.

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