2022-07-13 Update

I know I said I wasn’t going to write about my site, but I have been spending a lot of time on it, and looking into static site generators and moving away from WordPress (or as some people call it, “WordMess”).

I have a few sites that do not get much traffic (which is fine with me). But I do use the search features on WordPress a lot. It is nice to have a record of my thoughts without relying on Google. I got locked out of one of them recently. I don’t know if it was the site host or WordPress that locked things down. The lockout said it would expire in fifteen minutes, but it lasted an hour. I googled for a solution, and one was to change the slug for the login page. Which required a plugin. So I installed the plugin and changed the URL to a random word. I suppose I could have used a UUID.

Then I was getting email reports about attempted logins due to some xmlrpc issue. Google searches showed that the preferred solution was another plugin, but I was able to take care of this issue with the first plugin.

And then there are the comments. I might just turn them off. I have not gotten a useful or relevant comment in a long time. And since Russia invaded Ukraine (which is NOT anyone’s fault but Russia’s) I have gotten a lot more comments in Cyrillic. And I still get ads from people offering me SEO capabilities, even though my contact page says this is not a business and I do not need any services from you.

And then there is the possibility that the custom editor will stop working. And then one time it went into “Maintenance mode”, and did not come out. I had to delete a file from the server via SFTP.

Also on my post about CJUG presentations I was not able to get the formatting the way I want. A few times I got it to look the way I want in the preview, but after hitting the “Update” button the system changed it.

So I have started looking into static site generators. This is a larger project than I anticipated, and will take longer.

I would like a static site generator that can make my site like it is now: showing full posts ten to a page, with subsequent posts on subsequent pages. I do not want one page listing all the posts. I would like to have the files in different directories as well. I have a lot of posts, and I do not like hundreds of files in a directory if I can avoid it. I want each post to have links to the posts before and after it. I want an SSG with themes in case I do not like the default. And I want an SSG with an active forum or mailing list in case I have questions that I cannot answer from looking at the documentation.

Here are some notes for future reference:

  • The Python contender is Pelican (Github link here). I have not tried this one out yet. They do have an IRC channel. Those are not the best ways to get answers. I prefer forums or mailing lists. Their Github wiki has pages not on their main site. I do not want to have to look in multiple places for information.
  • The Clojure contender is Cryogen (Github link here). I could not find any mention of a way to interact with the community. In general that would be a point against, but I am pretty familiar with Clojure so I might be able to get it to work the way I want without assistance. Plus a lot of Clojure projects Just Work(tm).
  • The Java contender is JBake (Github link here, themes on Github here and here). I tried this out with a few posts. I do not have to have all the posts in one directory. However I do not know if all of the archive posts have to go on one page. I will keep looking into this one.
  • The Ruby contender is Jekyll (Github link here, forum here, themes site here). I had to jump through a lot of hoops installing Ruby via rvm, but I got it working. This is one system that seems to require all the files being in one folder. One point in favor of Jekyll is I did find a WordPress plugin that converts WP content to Markdown pages.
  • The Go contender is Hugo (Github link here, forum here, themes site here). Like Jekyll, this has a lot of features. It could probably do what I want, but it would take a lot of time to look into it.

Image is a scene from the life of 5th century Desert Father Arsenius the Great from an 11th century menologium manuscript housed in the State Historical Museum in Moscow, image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Public Domain.

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