Resuscitating the Blog

When I started this blog I used Wordpress. Wordpress is web-based content management system that uses PHP and one of MySQL or MariaDB to store the post data. I used Wordpress for years moving between a few different hosts finally settling on Linode.

Wordpress is a great product and has a healthy, vibrant user community. There are thousands of plugins and themes. There's phone apps for making blog posts on-the-go. However, being a dynamic web tool it is vulnerable to security issues. It is a constant game of whack-a-mole keeping things updated. Plugins add new bugs, and sometimes plugins are written with purposeful backdoors.

Over three years ago I decided to move away from Wordpress to something non-dynamic. Something with fewer vulnerabilities. I initially tried Hugo and found a tool that exports posts from Wordpress to Hugo. However, I found I didn't really like Hugo, and I just kinda... didn't do anything about it for a long time. Years a long time.

A few weeks ago I decided to revisit things. I found Pelican, a Python-based static website builder. It is very similar to Hugo in form and function, but being written in Python it jibes with my knowledge and skills much better than Hugo. Posts and pages are written in reStructuredText or Markdown, or even HTML. I use Markdown and HTML in a few cases. Each document has fields of metadata that Pelican parses to build out a full static website. There are a number of themes and I'm presently using the bootcamp2 theme. Pelican also has dozens of plugins that add plenty of capabilities but zero vulnerabilities.

It took a few weeks to slowly fix up all the posts that previously had been exported from Wordpress into Hugo-flavored Markdown into something Pelican could read. I uploaded a fair number of videos to YouTube, and had to adjust various other media here and there.

At the same time I'm moving my website to a new Linode server. This new server will not run any PHP or other dynamic web content which should keep things much simpler.

I'm going to try to post here more often and more consistently. Let's see if I succeed!