Goodbye Wordpress, hello Jekyll static site
Faster, cleaner, and more secure. What's not to love about static websites?
I used to think Wordpress was awesome.
The idea that I could log into my website from anywhere and write content was kind of exciting and I’d spend hours choosing or developing the perfect theme for the site, making sure everything was optimised for SEO and generally tinkering around with it.
Sometimes I’d even write content for it.
Then, over time, malicious actors across the world started taking an interest in Wordpress websites. Not just mine. Everyone’s. For a hacker, the idea that there were probably millions of sites out there that all used the same well-documented framework with a nice front-door that they could target was irrisistable.
It probably didn’t help that many people used the same username and passwords for all the different websites they go on and most of those are available on a list somewhere, thanks to the number of large websites that have had data-breaches that they’ve kept hidden for as long as they could.
Eventually I realised that I was spending more time updating the framework of my websites than I was actually creating content for them and I wondered why I even had a website at all when it was just an additional source of stress in my life. I stopped writing but I still kept updating my website.
Recently I came across the concept of static websites but not in form that I knew them. I’m old enough to remember the days when I’d create a website using basic HTML and CSS and then upload the results to a web-server somewhere. That was before we all got tempted by the apparent ease of use offered by content management systems (such as Wordpress).
The new approach is rather nifty in that the content is still clearly separated from the design but a compiler then creates a complete website from a set of theme files as html and css files and uploads it to the eventual destination.
The textual content for each post or page is held in a separate text file rather than being stored in a database so it’s easy to edit content. There’s no need to worry about HTML markup tags getting in the way of your writing as the text is purely formatted in Markdown, a simple way of formatting text without resorting to user interfaces.
I’m hoping that without worrying about keeping my website secure, I’m more likely to create content again.
Here’s hoping. It’s fun to try, whatever happens.