“Why WordPress? Aren’t you a developer? Why didn’t you build something more flash and custom?”, I hear you say, in a very judgemental tone that makes the both of us slightly uncomfortable and primes defensiveness.
The older I get and the more I get exposed to the inner workings of the internet, the more I start to appreciate the intense value of leveraging other people’s hard work. Or more simply: The older I get, the lazier I get. I don’t want to build some Gatsby-based static site generated blog that I have to host on an EC2 box with Node instances I have to monitor because they crashes every time my spaghetti code does something silly.
There are so many parts of a website that are a complete and utter pain in the arse if you decide to DIY it. For this website, I’ve used a simple 1-click droplet installation on DigitalOcean, which had about 30 seconds of config required in an SSH session before I got straight into writing my first post.
If I’d set this up myself using, say, NextJS + React, a non-exhaustive list of things I’d have to do:
- Bugger around a lot in the terminal
- Get Apache or Nginx working with my domain name
- Get HTTPS + redirects working
- Install a database
- Manage uptime
- Spend at least a few days building the site + making it attractive
- Get frustrated that none of the “little things” just work, like mobile UI
- Realise that I’ve put all of my effort into coding and building and none into writing, and this I’ve built a coding project and not a writing project, and that the writing experience in the app I’ve built is really lacking
- Install WordPress and decide to write a post about why this was ultimately a better decision than going custom
And here we are.