Do I want to write or do I want to fiddle with my blog?

Apparently, the answer is…fiddle with my blog. (Or maybe write about fiddling with my blog.)

I spent (aka wasted) many hours yesterday futzing with WordPress and Hugo. The day began with thinking about moving back to Hugo. I love writing in Emacs and using Org-mode files for publishing.

I feel like I’m a static website person. I want my site to be nothing more than a simple folder full of HTML files on a web server somewhere. Mmmm, fast, lightweight, future-proof, secure.

I also want to post by clicking a button, typing, and clicking another button. I want images to be managed for me. I want analytics, comments, and easy upgrades.

So, basically I want HugoPress. There is no such thing. None of the web front ends to Hugo are any good, so that’s out. I just want both sets of features and to pick and choose on the fly. I can’t have that, so historically I have kept two blogs, one static, one (usually) WordPress. Then I can use each set of features as needed. Except that splits my content and I don’t want that either.

Instead of writing, then, I continue to waffle about platforms. I recently made the “and that’s that!” decision to go all-in with WordPress. Once running, WordPress is the easiest way to get words published, and that’s why we’re here, right? So there!

And yet…

An experiment using WordPress

First, I dislike using WordPress. Second, I’m using WordPress anyway.

Let’s call it an experiment in “simple” blogging. It’s an excuse to get away from the hassles and friction of using a static site generator. I just want to click “New post”, type some words, and click “Publish”.

UPDATE: We’re back on WordPress

Because I’m mad at Hugo

Most days I love using Hugo for my blog. It’s super fast, flexible, and runs as a single binary with no dependencies. It builds me a nice static website out of a bunch of Markdown files and I love everything about that. Except that sometimes it’s too much work. To post anything I have to create a new file, add the proper front matter, render the site, and push the changes to my server. And if I want any images in the post, I have to size them and copy them to the correct location, and then hand-write links to them. It’s not hard, but it’s still a lot of friction.

Over the past few days I’ve found myself trying to tweak Hugo to accommodate my daily post entries, and it has not been fun. I’ve been using Hugo for years and I still don’t understand the template hierarchy. And forget about doing anything difficult with Hugo’s Go templates and themes. It’s baffling to me. Yes, I understand that maybe I’m just a slow learner but I’m not convinced that’s the entire problem here.

And then this morning something just stopped working. A post wouldn’t render no matter what I tried. It was the last straw.

So here we are in Ghost. I often hate this too, but in a different way. Right now I prefer the way I hate Ghost.