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Hello, Jekyll

Trent Walton:

I’ve logged quite a lot of hours battling databases, plugins, and a GUI editor to write (and occasionally design) blog posts. WordPress has served me well, but to simplify the process I’ve ported my blog to Jekyll. It’s great to be static! Writing already feels more casual and enjoyable.

Welcome to the light side, Mr. Walton. I moved my personal site to Jekyll back in 2013 and have never looked back. Since then, I haven’t built a personal project with WordPress. Back then I asked myself if I was going to be anti-WordPress:

Not at all. I love WordPress. I’ve been working with WordPress for years. However, I work on this site a lot, and I found myself very frustrated with how WordPress handles a simple blog. The honest truth, WordPress is too much for just a blog these days.

Things have changed since then. I do not love WordPress anymore. It’s become cumbersome to me for both personal and client projects. I recently set up a client with a Jekyll site using SiteLeaf, and she loved it. The benefits for a lot of projects just outweigh the cons:

  1. No messing with PHP.
  2. MySQL databases don’t have to be setup locally, aren’t a hassle to sync to production, and don’t randomly become corrupted.
  3. Developing with Liquid and Sass is a breeze, and Jekyll does it out of the box.
  4. A whole site can be checked into Git, making version control easy.
  5. Don’t even get me started on the horrible UI and typography choices that have plagued the WordPress CMS.

Don’t get me wrong though, WordPress can be useful for certain projects, and certainly has a stronghold powering 26.4% of the web.1 But it’s interesting to be seeing an ever-increasing shift away from WordPress for blogs, and at-least for me, it no longer being my no-brainer go-to for new projects.

  1. Statistic from ManageWP. The number is from March of this year, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it had grown.