Friction Free Blogging

Blogging is a form of writing for the web. So if you’re not writing at all, then you’re doing something wrong.

I grew steadily more frustrated with WordPress. Wrestling with the editor to produce the HTML I wanted. Fiddling with server permissions so that I just upload one simple image. The worst bit, though, was the security updates. When I had a desire to write, I would be bothered by a “please update now” message. For a sporadic blogger, this updating process took up a significant percentage of total blogging time.

So, I’ve moved to Jekyll, a static site generator that suits blogging well. I can write posts in the text editor of my choice, undisturbed. Deploying is trivial: $ git push. It even imported all the old WordPress posts.

Jekyll isn’t perfect, by any means: there’s no basic example to get started with, and rendering can silently fail. Then there’s the issue that you can’t provide comments on a purely static site.

This brings us to the question of the value of comments. Over the lifetime of this blog, there have been 3 comments total. That’s not enough to justify the maintenance burden of WordPress. Granted, there are services like Disqus which offer third-party commenting systems, but they are inflexible and not open source.

I believe that the solution here is just to build a comments system, and pull in comments using JavaScript. After all, 80% of Django developers are writing a blogging engine, so a simple comments system will hopefully be more than sufficient.

Indeed, the existence of this post suggests this approach works better for this lone writer. Stay tuned.

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