Why I Switched Off Wordpress

Devchat.tv has moved from one system to another over the years. Originally, when we started out with Ruby Rogues, we started with a Wordpress installation that I set up to host the podcast.

When JavaScript Jabber started, it wound up on another Wordpress setup. The Freelancers' Show was similarly setup.

Eventually, I decided to consolidate them and built out a Ruby on Rails application to host them all.

That's when I realized that when you get to a certain scale, simplicity and maintainability is a key feature. I also realized that having everything in one place for maintainability was a form of simplicity that both was essential and created a certain level of complexity.

About 3 years ago, I attended Microconf with the other hosts of the Entpreprogrammers Podcast. Derick Bailey turned me on to modifying Wordpress.

From a maintainability standpoint, I found that having Wordpress manage the things that it did well made my maintenance nightmares mostly going away. It also allowed me to go find plugins to do most of what I wanted.

It took a huge load off me because I didn't have to spend a bunch of time maintaining code to do basic things. The dark side of Wordpress is that most themes and plugins are designed to work with the basic post types (pages and posts) and not set up well for podcasts.

So, as time went on, I wound up more and more heavily modifying Wordpress custom post types for each show and tweaking my theme so it would do what I wanted it to.

Then, around Thanksgiving, we recorded an episode with Phil Hawksworth and Divya Sasidharan from Netlify where we talked about static site generators, the JAMStack, and what is entailed in those types of sites.

I realized that for the content part of the website, a static site generated by a system like Eleventy is much more ideal.

For the e-commerce part of the website, I realized that I could continue to run Wordpress.

However, we post 3 times a week with new podcast episodes. For the most part, people come to the website after checking the RSS feed anyway, so I can modify the episode listings to only show episodes on the RSS feed, but publish the episodes early and get them spot checked by the guests and hosts.

I can also easily start blogging because the blog is just another folder in the setup as are most of the podcasts.

Finally, I can manage most of the layouts in one place instead of playing games with Wordpress conventions.

In any case, I've got the new website setup on Github. I need to pull in the last handful of episodes for each show and hook in a few more things, but most of the tools I have can be pulled in via JavaScript, so, for the most part, I'm excited to see how much simpler things get without the complexity of a Wordpress setup for my basic content.

Charles Max Wood

Charles Max Wood is the CEO of Devchat.tv and host of several podcasts about software development at Devchat.tv. His passions are creating podcats for software developers, watching soccer, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. He lives in Utah with his wife, Heather, and 5 children.

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