No really, it does. It may seem like every second moves by as lethargically, and painfully slow to watch, as a Sloth moves from one branch to another. However, I was toying with the idea of moving the blog to Azure only recently. That recently was in fact February 2017 (see blog post “Clouduccino in 2017: moving to Azure"). I've had that in the back of my mind for a while. Its now September 2019.
About a year ago I remember reading that Azure was going to allow static web hosting in Azure Blog storage. Interesting news. It then became official come December 2018.
This kind of mirrors what AWS had for some time in S3 and it got me thinking about what that would mean for me.
WordPress is certainly not a static platform. It needs a server (Apache) and a database (MySQL) and somewhere to host the compute instance (AWS LightSail in my case). So that got me thinking about what it would mean to move away from WordPress.
I've used WordPress in various circumstances and projects for over 10 years. I know the ins and outs pretty well and I find that it's basically rock solid. I've not had a single issue with WordPress itself.
WordPress comes with a lot of luxuries and an easy of deployment that's hard to match. Heck, I got LightSail up and running in 5min. It took me only another hour or migrate my database and tweak some config from my precious hosting provider (GoDaddy). Whenever I want to add a new feature (like Footnotes) it's a quick search of the Plugins library.
With all this stuff that you can simply bolt on, I have found that WordPress can get a bit bloaty at times. Do I really need all these plugins where I may need or use one specific feature? That is a good question.
Then there comes the never ending tsunami of every keyboard warrior trying to break into the site and login to the back end admin portal. Either these nefarious individuals or groups think I hoard valuable information here or they simply want to change credentials and extort me. The real reason I'll never know, or care really as I've made up my mind about WordPress.
I had bookmarked Jekyll under a “Web Design” folder some time ago. Classic Lucian: I find found interesting, bookmark it, but didn't look into it enough to understand it.
Fast forward to a few months back, after installing all the pre-requisites and getting a “Windows Subsystem for Linux” going (which took longer than I had expected), I found that the overall cost of installation and maintaining the environment too taxing to warrant building with Jekyll (mind you, I'm currently running a Windows based SOE via a Surface Pro 6). That's just my experience though.
Enter Hugo. Like a boss it made transitioning from WordPress to static websites pretty effortless. Its single Windows “hugo.exe” (90Mb) file made setup super simple.
I've spent the last 8 weeks or so in my spare time playing around with Hugo and possible changes to the blog layout to streamline it further (Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. - KISS all day!). I'm still using Bootstrap v4 as the framework, but I've refined things further and I think a lot of that “bloat” is now gone.
I'm going to write up a follow up blog post to this (via Hugo) on how I transitioned to Azure in more detail.Watch this space.
It's been fun while it lasted. No doubt we'll run into each other again. So don't take this to heart. I hope we can still be friends…