New Blog

New Blog

Goodbye, WordPress!

After much internal mental debate, I have decided to restart my blog from scratch. The blog has been powered by WordPress for a very long time (since I converted it from DasBlog somewhere around 2004).

After a recommendation from Shawn Wildermuth, I decided to go with Ghost. It was very easy to get setup (I had it up and running in about 10 minutes, including all Internet DNS changes and nameserver reassignments).

Also, it works perfectly with SSL, so I am able to provide SSL to my readers, which is a goal I had for the new year.

Why Change?

WordPress was starting to irritate me. It injected an enormous amount of unnecessary HTML and it rendered very large documents for simple pages. The biggest issue I had with it is that it encoded all of my source code before storing it in the database, causing it to render incorrectly and cause me grief.

With Ghost, all I have to do is wrap it in code markdown: my code here (using ` character on either side) for inline code and four spaces for multi-line code, like so:

function doIt(message){
    var abc = message + ', World';

I haven't found a code formatting "plugin", but the fact that I no longer have to fight with WordPress to insert code makes me happy.

UPDATE: I found a code formatter. I am using Google Code Prettify.

The HTML rendered by Ghost is clean and small, just like I wanted it. I got some errors from Google analytics, so I haven't put in my analytics tracker, yet. As soon as I do, that will probably be the ugliest element in my output.

I am going to make an attempt to create a blog that is low-impact and allows readers on mobile devices to read my blog without eating up too much of their data.

WordPress is heading in the right direction with their recent updates, but there's really no way they'll ever extract themselves from their worst attribute: everything is written in PHP.

What now?

For the future of my blog, I am going to look at the traffic for each of the posts in my old blog. I will migrate the most popular posts to this new blog so that they will remain on the Internet. Hopefully, I can find a way to make the permalinks work.

Update: Ghost has a great guide on how to import a WordPress blog into Ghost. I have used this guide to successfully move my blog over. It even retained my permalinks. The only thing it can't do is retain the links to the years and months (ex. GHOST_URL/2009/12/ is now broken.

If not, I guess I can count on Google to re-index my site, especially now that it will not be as "wordy" on the HTML side.

Also, I believe that I read somewhere that they give higher rankings to sites that support SSL (https).

Thanks for bearing with me. I also need to look into what to do about my RSS subscribers. This may be the end of an era as far as that goes.

EDIT Jan 19, 2016: Ghost provides an RSS feed at GHOST_URL/feed