Powered by WordPress, proudly or not

I just saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” so I thought now’s a good time to finally make that move to the dark side.

Which means it’s not you. My website really did change significantly today. And converting it to HTTPS last week was only the beginning.

Yes, I’ve made a few jokes about WordPress in the past. (Like the opening in this post.) Thankfully Matt Mullenweg still follows me on Twitter. He’s very forgiving. Although the rest of you might not grant me absolution now that I’m no longer using Magneto, my own static website generator.

But I really don’t care about the loss of geek cred. I have plenty and I just want to write. WordPress, it seems, goes out of its way to empower that desire. Seriously.

While the free-range, handcrafted, artisanal nature of the HTML previously here afforded me a certain self-righteous smugness, a static generator can be pain in the ass to use every day. And though I liked the command line Magneto required, I didn’t want to spend all my time there with it.

What I really needed was a publishing system easily accessible from anywhere — even mobile devices — to quickly create and deploy content. Which is the whole point of having a blog that people want to read.

And I’ve been longing to compose and publish my posts within Safari, my Web browser of choice. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried WordPress — or tried it recently — but I think it has the best in-page rich text editor out there. And it’s completely extensible.

Sure, you may have to huff a little PHP to do that, but you’d be surprised how much of the WordPress front end is just plain JavaScript now. Including a new Open Source desktop app, Calypso, written almost entirely in that language.

Times are changing. And did I mention that whole WordPress-powers-25%-of-the-Web thing?

Anyway, I wanted to move away from the static and toward the dynamic. Especially with a responsive site design.

Now, I could have just written the CSS and JavaScript myself, media queries and such, to make the site not suck on the iPhone. But, it turns out I’m old and lazy. Plus, the WordPress team has done the really hard part — not just the writing — but the testing of a responsive design on just about every platform out there.

So what you’re looking at now is a “child” theme built to inherit most of its appearance and behavior from one of the bundled designs in WordPress. It still has it’s own personality, but it’s a quick way to get up and running without making a huge investment in a college fund.

Sure, I also wrote a few plugins, but I’m not trying to tweak every little thing that WordPress does by default. I don’t what to go down that path again because the last time I tried that I wound up writing my own anal-retentive system instead. And I’ve learned the hard way that blogging is not about the HTML tags surrounding the words that you type.

Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that a WordPress site requires constant vigilance to keep it working properly. There are several tools available to help with that, but forced participation is a good thing if it draws me back here to write. Because we all know that neglect has been this site’s only real problem.

By the way, although I’m not using Magneto now, it was essential for migrating my site to WordPress. I took all my same content and just repurposed it through plugins and a script — within Magneto — to generate a WordPress-compatible, RSS-style import file. I suspect many other static website generators could do the same.

All of the original post URLs should be the same on this new site. My apologies for changing the RSS feed but the old link should redirect to the new one.

Let me know if you see anything grotesquely wrong. In the meantime, I’ll keep typing.

9 thoughts on “Powered by WordPress, proudly or not”

  1. This looks really good and no need spending vast amounts of time manually making this as I think it’s better spent writing and getting back to movies and gaming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *