Yup. It looks different. For the first time in over 11 years, this website is not being built dynamically by PHP scripts.
I’ve jumped on the static site generation bandwagon, and after taking a look at several options (primarily Hugo and Nikola), and decided to settle on Jekyll. At the end of the day the easiest to install and get started with won, basically (which I found amusing for a Ruby project, for some reason).
There are a couple of reasons for wanting to change. Primarily, it seems every second day I read about some new Wordpress exploit wiping out sites left right and centre. It’s just another point of admin to update things all the time, which I could do without. Additionally, I’m tired of bots smashing into the admin login page all day. While it doesn’t really impact me all that much, it’s just something that bothers me.
The myriad plugins “required” to manage comment spam, the aforementioned login attempts, galleries, links, etc. all provide their own potential security issues, and all need to be regularly updated (assuming their authors didn’t abandon them years ago).
Finally, I wanted to do some custom design (yes, I’m not fantastic at it), but the thought of building mixed HTML and PHP templates for Wordpress horrifies me.
For the conversion, I used the Jekyll Wordpress migration process, which resulted in a bit of a mess, followed by conversion from HTML to Markdown using Pandoc, which did an excellent job. Over several days I had to clean up and reformat most pages, rebuild the galleries, redesign everything, etc., but I feel the result is worth it.
The full source code (plugins, config, assets, posts etc) are available in GitHub if anyone wants to steal anything.