I admit it: I heavily procrastinated and worked not only on a new theme, but a whole new blog! I was never too happy with Wordpress because it brings so much unnecessary baggage that I really don’t need. I was trying to optimize the site’s performance, but no matter what I did, the site remained quite slow. Not to say that it’s impossible, but apparently it’s not trivial to do.
So I did what I wanted to do the last time I made a blog: Use a static site generator with a very simple theme and write my posts as markdown files. I did not opt for the very well-known Jekyll or Hugo, but instead decided to use a project named Hexo. Not only is it very similar to my gaming nickname back in the day (Exo), but I really liked what they had to offer and particularly liked one theme named Cactus Dark. I spend a while modifying the theme to my needs until I was pretty happy with it. That is what you are seeing here right now.
I think (well, hope) that this whole new system will lower the barrier for me to work on a blog post. I did not like Wordpress’s interface at all. Now I just open a text editor and write. The only issues are the embeds of Twitter and YouTube that I used before. If you go back to my previous posts, you’ll noticed that I completely removed the YouTube embeds (just links now), and used quotes for the Tweets (which remove the media attached to them). This is not optimal, but allows me to have a site with NO external dependencies at all. One reason that the old Wordpress blog was so slow is that it needed to load several external ressources. This is not needed anymore now. (If you have an adblocker or something like Ghost, you’ll notice that it won’t have to block anything on this site.)
Just having a simple theme that I like and a blazingly fast site are reason enough for me to switch away from Wordpress. There are a few things that I have left to do though:
- Create a logo (my flatmate will do this for me ❤️).
- Think about a better solution for the Tweets and YouTube embeds (without needing to load external ressources).
- Maybe figure out some internal way to get some basic statistics about the site (might be hard for a static site without using external services like Google Analytics).
- And probably a thousand more things because it’s often more fun to tinker with your site than to actually create content… 🙈
Well, I guess you will notice if this actually makes me post more here. I’m still going to write a new weekly update for this week, but as I published the previous one only a few days ago, I’ll wait another day or two.
Please let me know if you have any feedback or comments about this new blog! The best way to contact me is on Twitter: @stefandesu