March 18, 2019
I've been frustrated lately with the writing side of Hugo. It’s a great tool for publishing and content transformation. It plays well with CI/CD tools. My static site host, Netlify, makes hosting sites built with Hugo a breeze. However, when it comes to being able to write whenever the mood strikes, Hugo is horrible. Yes, technically, I can just use GitHub’s web IDE to write a new post. I don’t have to use the git+vim workflow that I often do when writing Markdown. But it feels very… clunky. Inserting images is a slow and manual process. Layout requires messing with the site theme and its CSS, making it unwieldy for individual posts. Hence, all my posts on this blog look the same.
I decided to return to the GUI blog engine world. With that decision behind me, I started looking at the options. Having been out of that particular game for awhile, I hoped that some new tool had come along that I could check out. In fact, there was - a blog engine called Write Freely. So it entered the running alongside the usual suspects (Blogger, Ghost, and WordPress). Blogger hasn’t changed. It has some new themes since I last looked at it seriously ten years ago, but the interface has not aged well. Ghost charges a ridiculous amount of money for a hosted blog, and the self-hosted version still hasn’t acquired some of the quality-of-life features that WordPress has.
Write Freely is interesting, especially since it’s in the federation space, but it’s not yet mature enough for my tastes. This, despite the fact that I contributed code to it. So that leaves WordPress. And rather than deal with hosting it myself, I decided to pay for hosting on wordpress.com. It’s not ideal (the Personal version doesn’t allow installing plugins), but it works well enough and gives me the GUI features I missed. At time of this writing, I’m still trying to figure out how to migrate all of my Hugo posts to WordPress. No tool exists for that purpose. I’ll probably have to write something myself. Update = I did end up writing a tool to handle this. I'll write a blog post about it later.