Those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while will know that I’ve been happy running it on self-hosted WordPress, and have been wary of switching to a static site generator or other alternative.
However, lately I’ve been looking again at the options out there, and Hugo in particular. A couple of things have prompted this re-evaluation:
- The Gutenberg editor, while fine for writing blog posts (for me at least), is still a work-in-progress when it comes to fulfilling the promise of ‘full-site editing’. That is mostly down to not all of the pieces being in place yet to make that a workable reality, but it’s a frustration nonetheless.
- My workflow is moving increasingly towards Markdown text, and while the Gutenberg editor can translate that into the relevant code, it’s a one-way street currently: if I want to edit something I have to do it in the Gutenberg editor.
- At some point in the future I’ll need to make a decision on what to do about web hosting. Using WordPress, even self-hosted, does mean more work to get my content out should I decide to move.
- I’ve not done any proper web design in a long time, and I feel like scratching that itch.
I’m aware that a static site generator, by itself, won’t solve all of the above. A lot of the complexity behind this site would move from my web host to my computer. Additionally, there are some things, like finding broken links and archiving posts and pages to the Internet Archive, that are currently automated for me by WordPress plugins, and I’d need to work out how to replicate those functions.
Still, it’s an interesting little side-project to consider. I won’t be switching over any time soon, and might decide it’s not worth the hassle in the long-term. But I won’t deny that the appeal of keeping my blog writing as Markdown does have a lot of appeal.