Dynamic or static blog site, pros and cons
When I’m mulling over a decision I often find it helpful to make a list of pros and cons. I wanted to restart blogging, and didn’t feel positive about having to upgrade my wordpress and its’ remaining plugins. Installing something for the first time so I can do things I could not do before is fun, having to install updates and reconfigure things that already worked not so much.
I’ve benefited from other peoples’ considerations on whether to use a a static site generator or not. Especially why some switch back to where they came from, so here is mine. Not the worlds’ most riveting writing, I also didn’t want to clutter the next post about how I postponed most decisions with these details.
Pros of switching:
- The attack surface of my small server park becomes smaller.
- Less work in maintenance, leaving more time for writing. I can update a static site generator if I want, but I don’t have to. I can just continue writing and posting without changing a bit of software.
- Writing blog posts on the go, when I’m offline. E.g. on a plane or train abroad. Or better yet, going offline to write without distractions. I do that with wordpress as well, but then the additional steps of putting it online and it’s cluttered interface can be a gumption trap.
- Shiny new tools make writing more fun, at least for a while. So changing tools for me provides motivation for writing.
- More posts with code. Hakyll has syntax highlighting of code snippets out of the box. Most static site generators are made by software developers, for software developers.
- Learning. Using a bit of Haskell for real, and making small extensions.
- Using the same tools I use for other things, so I can reuse skills I already have.
- a real editor like Vim or Emacs (responsive and focused writing, spell checking when I want to in any language I care about)
- markdown for text, striking a decent balance between writing focus and semantic layout.
- distributed version control (Git) so I can easily change things and collaborate with others on writing.
Cons of switching:
Most of the below boil down to switching costs. Putting in effort that I might not have to do otherwise.
- Figuring out which static site generator to use.
- Finding out how to do rss feeds and comments.
- Losing readers that subscribed to the old blog
- Losing search engine ranking
- No image galleries out of the box
- Not being able to blog from a tablet or phone (I did that may be once, a few years ago, so that’s not too big of a loss ;)).
How I chose to switch? I didn’t. Not yet at least. In another post I’ll explain how I chose to switch as well as not to switch using Real Options.comments powered by Disqus