The Changing Face of My Blogging Platforms

#Technology

There no doubt that my interest in creative writing has surged recently. I used to do a lot of it in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Then my interest in writing slowly waned as the traditional social platforms took precedence and finally took over.

But, there's a problem with this scenario. These social giants then control all your data and even how you can get to view it or even how to access and download your own data. Not fair really is it?

With all the recent scandals regarding privacy and of course the fact that we all know they make billions selling our data, it seems correct to me to move back to our own platforms rather than them.

To this extent I have started blogging again. It used to be WordPress in the old days. Then, I came across Static Site Generators and the realisation that WordPress was in fact extremely bloated software and prone to hackers.

I came across a Static Site Generator called Jeykll, liked it and tried a few more similar types afterwards. I was sold on the idea of producing HTML pages fast and efficiently. I then discovered Hugo, the fastest one around in my opinion. An amazing way to produce websites. I've since moved on to Eleventy (11ty) which is my current favourite Static Site Generator.

I produced my wife's and others websites using Eleventy. It was great! Fast, efficient websites with superb Google and Lighthouse ratings.

Then on 27th December 2020 my Dad died. This changed my thinking. Why?

Firstly, my father, in later life left me a whole series of notes and memories about his life. These are invaluable for us as a family to remember him and our heritage. It's so important.

Secondly, I realised my own vunerability in the system of blogs I was looking after. I was key. I was critical. And, I'm not a spring chicken. I had had a heart attack a couple of years ago so nobody knows when their time is up.

Only I could use Eleventy. Integrated CMS (Content Management Systems) for static sites are not yet at a standard for people without coding knowledge to use on a daily basis. That's my belief. If I went under a bus then who could keep the websites ticking? My wife, friends and family would have to bring in professional help or lose their sites.

Time to head back and look at the popular CMS blogging platforms once again. This time with “continuity” in mind.

I hate WordPress. But, it's got worse in the 10 years since I last used it. It's horrible. Bloated beyond belief. Overly complex. Plugins for this, that and every bloody other. Yuk!

I do love the idea of federated and decentralised software. So for micro blogging I have adopted “write.as”. For major blogs I like Ghost. If you aren't happy to self host or use the free hosting options that exist then it doesn't take long to get up and running. Personally I am happy to pay a moderate amount to ensure these platforms continue to thrive.

The two CMS I've mentioned (write.as and ghost) are really good. Easy to enter data. Modern. Quick. And both adopt markdown input which is my preferred input medium.

Now, its so easy to blog/micro blog. On a daily basis if I have something to say I can write a blog, even from my phone. In fact I'm doing that right now!

In addition you can download your writing as an export file, whenever you wish. That will mean it's easily portable to other platforms. Important!

I want to leave a legacy of writing for my offspring. I want them to know about me, my life, their heritage. And, that's why I write.