No-Coding the Blog

The idea of¬†not¬†spending a lot of time writing code to support a blog isn’t innovative, but it can be hard.

I identify as a software developer. It can be hard for me to get past that first inclination to build something when facing a problem. Even when there isn’t a good reason for me to write code. Even in a well-trodden space like blogging. Even if choosing to code something keeps me from actually accomplishing my goal.

When I decided to start blogging again, I jumped right to coding based solutions. I started playing with Jekyll again. I spun up a Gatsby.js site (because Jekyll is old and I should get better at React). I looked at Hugo briefly (because why stick with JavaScript and Go looks fun!). As expected, I didn’t have enough time to devote to any of these. They served their treacherous purpose. They effectively distracted me from the actual hard part – the writing – that I wanted to get back to.

I started back into that fail-cycle this weekend. A few times, actually. The first pass at it was as expected – what’s the static site generator du jour? What are all the bits and pieces that I’d like to have on the site? Can I build the ELM group (more on that later) within the same framework? How about a product page for Forager/CandiedBrain? Before I jumped to code this time, I decided to write a bit about the purpose of the site. When I got done, I decided WordPress would be more than adequate for my needs here at the start. I may want more functionality, but I can deal with that when it comes.

After believing I had slain the build from scratch demons once, I thought I was good to go. And then I came to the hosting question. I went to Digital Ocean, because why not? That’s where a lot of my personal projects go. But that was just another opportunity to throw code at a problem. I wasn’t looking at this blog to be an exercise in site, server, and database administration. I wanted my own place to write. In the end, I went with EasyWP because it was cheap, fast, and integrated with Namecheap, where many of my domains are hosted. WordPress is known for having good export and import functionality. I could always move the site later if needed.

I will be sharing more of my goals for the site later. I need to start with something and this seems right for a blog about prototyping, little experiments, and becoming a better communicator.

Published by Dave

I'm a Engineering Director for a software consultancy in Dayton, Ohio and the founder of Scrimmage, LLC, a product development lab.

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