Why I switched from Wordpress to Jekyll

16 Jan 2019

As I’m starting off the fourth version of my website I am reflecting on the previous iterations and growth over the past years. I built my first website in 2013 for my Webdesign 201 course. It was a pretty poorly constructed bundle of html pages, but I navigated the hoops of getting a hosting service and domain and so markofthelam.com was born.

I sporadically updated the website because it was a pretty painful process to update the pages. A couple years later I wanted to again learn more about web development. Using the Djang Girls python tutorial I reconstructed my website with Django framework and Python backend. I planned to keep learning more, but the learning curve was really steep. So while it looked great and worked well for its purposes, the crude cms I built felt very unfinished. I kept making things and I wanted to focus on that so I rebuilt my website using Wordpress in 2015. At this point I’ve been working on websites for a while so I felt pretty comfortable customizing themes and templates so I was pretty happy with it.

I like to post the things I make. I have pretty broad interests in making so it’s an eclectic collection. But I think it’s important to archive and share your work if you’re doing any sort of creative activity. The internet is such a vast and mindblowing place I am trying to carve my own space in it.

Wordpress is pretty great. I was able do a lot of cool things with it, but I’m resolving to make more and share more. While I often work with wordpress I find it pretty clunky for personal use. Its not like I’m getting paid for this so I want to do minimal work on maintainence and interfacing. I want to focus on making interactive work and worry little about the overhead. With Wordpress there is a lot of overhead. Since I want to experiment more with DOM and the web environment I need to understand the system a little more. So for the fourth version I am using the Jekyll static site generator.

I’ve been using Jekyll for my blog at school, and I find it really easy to write blogs in markdown and upload. Theres a lot of Ruby magic happening, but really simple and convenient for blogs. There are a lot of nifty features to extend Jekyll to work for more than a simple blog as well. Using the same site structure as my old website, it operates mostly the same, but more lightweight. I can now focus more about writing. So hope you’ll see posts regularly.