Hello World!

I’m back on WordPress! But not for long.

When I started learning about web development in the fall of 2020 (that’s an interesting phrase), I hosted a (very) simple HTML and CSS website here with the intention of building it out as my skills increased.

Screenshot of simple HTML and CSS website made by Aaron Durant
Humble beginnings.

I think I became embarrassed of how barebones that hand-coded site was and I remained infatuated with WordPress having used it very intensely for the last five-plus years, so back here I came in January 2021.

Before too long, static site generators and the like came on my radar, and then the concept of a headless CMS (content management system). I was hooked. I had to learn how to use these things and make my own personal website with a technology stack I never thought I’d be familiar with — primarily because there was a time not long ago when I couldn’t define technology stack!

Naturally, my first goal was to keep this WordPress installation in action and pair it with Gatsby. I’d be able to apply my React skills and create a design that’s just right while also managing my content in the comfortable, familiar territory that is WordPress.

Things have evolved further from there. More and more practice with Gatsby has made me fond of the idea of writing blog posts in Markdown adjacent to the code that comprises the front-end of the site. Seeing the phrase “Markdown developer blog” over and over has also had something to do with this; if this is what smart developers are using to create their personal sites, then maybe there’s something to it. Maybe a CMS is overkill.

I don’t believe I’ve ever kept a version of my personal website live for more than a full year, so this fear is likely entirely unfounded, but I’m concerned about the long-term viability of having dozens (hundreds?) of blog posts unorganized in a folder within a repository, or each post and its images in their own folder within a blog folder, as is a common practice.

If that sounds like a mess… exactly.

This thought experiment has shown me that “management” is the most important word in content management system. Going the Markdown route, I’d have content, and I’d have a system, but the ease of management I’ve enjoyed with WordPress since I was just starting with websites and through publishing well over 1,000 articles on The Apex would be conspicuously absent.

If I could stick with using the default theme on WordPress (which I really like) for longer without my development skills coming into question, I probably would. However, I’m targeting the beginning of 2022 as the launch time for a Gatsby-powered personal website. 🚀

No matter how I end up sourcing content for my blog, I’ll be very proud to go from rudimentary web dev skills at the beginning of 2021 to deploying a modern, fast static site to kick off 2022.

By Aaron Durant

I wrote about car racing for a while. Now I'm pursuing web development and motocross.

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