Which platform to use?


I've maintained blogs in one form or another for over 15 years. But they've been sporadic at best. They've also been weighty I was an early adopter of Wordpress and I just lazily left them there - it's a testament to Wordpress' formidable structure that blogs I set up in version 3 have just upgraded seamlessly in the background, without me worrying about it for years and years.

But it's a weighty old thing - there's databases to backup, themes to install, PHP to craft (and keep secure), plugins to maintain - it's all a bit of an admin nightmare. Blogging in Wordpress takes the fun away from writing. The point of blogging has to be that I can just smash an idea down and share it. So no more weighty wordpress blogs - I'm slimming down - I wanted an engine for my blog which was as simple as possible.

I wanted it to simply allow me to type markdown - ideally in my "second brain" (wherever that ends up being - It's currently divided between Evernote and Craft) It'd be great if it could just be a folder of markdown files that sort of "self-manages". To that end I was considering either Blot (which does exactly that - it's just a folder of markdown files that it makes into a website) or Obsidian - which is proving increasingly popular as a kind of "one-stop-shop second brain". However, as a designer/developer I feel I would like to have a little more control over what gets published.

I do however, want it to be REALLY SIMPLE to publish - draft / published should be a simple toggle in the header of the document

That points to one of the static site generators: Jekyll and Gatsby are the big names - but Jekyll is Ruby on rails and Gatsby's SPA model doesn't feel right for a blog (plus it has a reputation for getting really slow) - I want it to be lightweight and performant - I'm quite happy to sacrifice features for simplicity and a light footprint. I don't want to have to spend ages learning another language just to make it work.

Which leaves me with Hugo - which seems very fully featured or 11ty - which aims to match the simplicity of Jekyll, but in Javascript.

I'm honestly torn between the two of them - so I may well end up switching betwen them, but I'm going to start with.....

11ty - mainly because it just seems a bit simpler (and coz all the cool kids are dinging it's praises 🤷‍♀️ - what can I say? If it's good enough for Haydon Pickering and Andy Bell, then it's good enough for me)