So Confused

I play around with a lot of different technology. Sometimes, like with Linux, I settle on something that is truly special and something I want to continue using. I have this feeling with many things, my phone, gaming consoles, computer peripherals, pens, backpacks, etc. I get frustrated because with websites, it’s a mess of options and there really isn’t a middle ground.

Maybe if I break it down into things I like and things I don’t like I can use that as a tool to filter out solutions that don’t work for me. Sort of a pros and cons list, but with a must-have component.

Must-Haves

Simple/Accessible Editing Tools

I love Emacs. I really do. Unfortunately I cannot take it everywhere with me and use it as a universal editing tool for all my text. Right now, I’m stuck with either custom apps (ala the WordPress iOS app) or web browsers to edit things while on-the-go. I don’t mind apps, but I greatly prefer to be able to edit in a browser, that way I don’t have to rely on any special tooling that might only be on a specific machine or require special configuration.

To this end, WordPress has an excellent default editor called Gutenberg that makes editing a pretty painless process. For other sites/CMSes, I know there is Prose, which allows you to create content for your Jekyll blog when it’s hosted on GitHub Pages infrastructure.

Media Management

I don’t tend to post many images. I’ve tried to in the past, especially on this WordPress blog. I just am not that creative or savvy with a camera. When I do post things, I’d like there to be a nice interface to share them. With Jekyll and Hugo, you sort of have to drop files in the right place, then reference them in the post body. Not bad, but also not ideal.

Extensibility

I don’t have a lot of things to modify with a blog. Honestly I could probably get away with a .txt file sitting on a server. I do, however, want to be able to extend the functionality either via output filters, connections to other sites/services, or just modifying how things are generated. Pretty much all services/platforms support this, thankfully.

Open Source

This goes without saying. I will not use any platform that I cannot, in some way, download, tinker with, host myself, or otherwise inspect the guts of. We’re in a proprietary renaissance, where platforms hide behind flashy logos and cool CSS effects. That’s all well and good, but I want to know how this tool works.

Cheap

If I’m using a static generator of some sort, I don’t expect this to cost much. Dynamic, I can understand a little more. I really don’t need or want to be paying a king’s ransom for hosting.

Would Like

Lots of Available Themes

Look. I did the whole web developer thing, and it was fun. I learned a lot and got to do something that, at the time, was what I loved. I’ve since moved on. Websites have become a Lovecraftian mess of JavaScript, CSS effects and hidden rules and tweaks by one or more organizations to get people onto their platforms. To that end, I’d like to have some templates or themes to work with so I can tweak what is there to my liking.

Addendum

I hate complex theming. WordPress themes are a mess of PHP, JS and required functionality. While I’m working on re-learning how to parse this mess, I’d much prefer if I could use something templated or much more structurally laid out. Jekyll and Hugo do a good job of this.

Security

If I have to log into the service or platform, I’d like to have 2FA available to ensure that my login is more difficult to compromise. I use different passwords for services, but I’d like to make sure that there is a second layer of security keeping people out.

Content Types

Content types are nice. They allow you to have customized templates tailored to different types of content. I don’t need these. I can, generally, work around this in my own ways. Having them available just saves time and energy having to set up my workflow.

Search

It would be nice if I could search for something. It’s not a big deal, because of the availability of high quality search engines, but it’d be nice.

Drafts

I’m okay at writing, but I need time to edit. Drafts would allow me to make sure I can drop some ideas into the system, but not make them immediately available.

Performant

I’m not looking for 100 pagespeed results. I also don’t want to wait for 10 seconds while my page painfully loads.

Don’t Need

I decided to say that I don’t need these features instead of “Don’t Want.” This is because some of these features are available on many platforms and services, but aren’t something I’m going to end up using.

Comment Systems

Listen. I get it. I’m not that popular. I can lose the comments feature and not really miss anything.

Social Media Tools

I only really operate on one social media platform, by choice. I don’t have any pressing need to integrate with the Big Two. Further more, if people want to share my content, I’d like to think they can copy and paste the URL to the resource and don’t need a button to do it for them.

SEO Tools

In the same vein of Social Media Tools, I don’t need anything SEO related. I’m not looking to jump to the top of the search.

Widgets

Widgets are neat and sometimes even useful. I don’t need them though. I can make what I need available either through theme templating or other methods.

e-Commerce Tools

There really isn’t anything I’m trying to sell.

Advertising Tools

Yeah, still not selling anything.


So, what should I go with? Leave a comment below.

Posted by Nathan

Nathan is a technologist who loves Open Source Software, sleep and coffee.

2 Replies to “So Confused”

  1. How about Grav? Kev seems to be having fun with it. Meets most of your requirements.

  2. I’d considered Grav. Is there a hosting provider that you’d recommend? I imagine there aren’t many dedicated hosts for it yet.

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