I've moved my blog from WordPress to Gatsby. Here's the WHY and HOW.
I don't blog as much as I once did. As I've thought about it, I feel much of the reason for it is because I don't like using WordPress.
I've tried several tools. I have the WordPress app. I've tried different plugins. But, nothing is really enjoyable to use.
I enjoy Markdown because it is simple to write and easy to use. I have a
collection of aText shortcuts that I use
with Markdown as well. For example, if I want to create a link, will type
md.link. Immediately, aText will open a modal window to enter my link title
and URL like so:
Whenever I wrote a post in WordPress, it feels like I spend the next hour tweaking it. I save and preview, save and preview, rinse and repeat. This is not a fast process.
There are so many plugins and I feel like I spend more time upgrading plugins than I do writing posts.
It feels like 80% of websites are powered by WordPress these days, so like the Windows operating system, they are going to be the most targeted platform for crackers.
I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of React. For me, it is hard to read. I don't like JSX.
That said, I'm very impressed with Gatsby. Honestly, the feature I like most is the progressive image rending. I first noticed it on Kent C. Dodds's website and I was jealous. So, I started to learn Gatsby.
It is not difficult to get up and running, but there were a few things about Kent's blog that I loved and I was struggling to reproduce from scratch.😩
Then it occurred to me, his blog is open-source so why not just use his blog as a starting point?
I hope you don't mind Kent!🙏 They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? 😬
I just changed some colors and took a bunch of components out and use this as a starting point.
I then wrote a Python script to clean them up more to give them some default
frontmatter, then loaded them all into a directory called
I have some other scripts to move them out of that directory into my preferred directory structure. I then clean them up more and add a relevant banner image.
I've got a lot of cleanup work to do since my blog is 15 years old. I will likely just delete many old posts. But I'll be checking my WordPress stats to see what people are still accessing and keep those posts around.
I'm hesitant to add comments. It seems most of them were just spam on my WordPress site and I spent a lot of time cleaning them up as well.
Otherwise, I may just follow Kent's lead and use Twitter as my commenting system. 🐦
Would I recommend Gatsby for everyone? Definitely not! I still feel, that for most people, WordPress is the way to go. You don't have to know how to code. You don't have to know how to use Git. WordPress has been around forever and there are so many plugins and resources to help.