If you’ve been reading the things I put on this site for any amount of time, you may have noticed that as of today, the site has a pretty different look. It may not be obvious at first glance, but I didn’t just switch up my site theme, I actually switched blogging platforms entirely.
For years, I’ve hosted all of my blogs, and the blogs of people I build websites for, on Wordpress. From an end-user usability standpoint, Wordpress is fantastic, and even with the switch here, it remains my go to platform for blogging for most people. The problem with Wordpress for me is that, great a tool as it is, it doesn’t really fit the way that I write or work. The whole point of having a blog is to be able to produce and share written content, and if the tool enabling me to do so doesn’t meld well with my process, it’s going to sit in a corner unused, which is exactly what has happened to this blog.
Realizing that I wanted to write more, but also realizing that Wordpress didn’t really work for me, I recently started looking around for an alternative. That’s when I came upon Jekyll. I realize I’m late to this party, but I’m very glad I found my way to it. Everything about Jekyll checks all the boxes I need:
- Easy to write and modify posts and pages.
- Everything’s under source-control
- Dead-simple deployment
- I can compose with Markdown.
- I can use Vim!
Of course, Jekyll isn’t a perfect one-to-one replacement for Wordpress. Wordpress generates dynamic websites with support for things like contact forms and other types of interactivity. Anything of that kind that I want to include on a Jekyll-based site has to be done via other means. That doesn’t really pose a problem for me though, and the other features I mentioned above more than make up for it.
The other thing is that Jekyll isn’t really non-developer friendly. That’s the main reason I’ll still be reaching for Wordpress any time a non-technical friend needs me to “set up a blog” for them. For a person with basic HTML skills who’s comfortable with Markdown and the command line though – this is probably the easiest way to blog.