In 2008 I started the FPGA Developer blog on the Blogger platform (remember the .blogspot domains?). Then in 2011 I moved the blog to Wordpress. I’ve got to say that over the last 9 years Wordpress has been great and let me create a good looking blog without needing to know much about coding for websites. I was pretty quick to get onto the Divi theme by Elegant Themes and I thought it was the best thing in the world. Then gradually over the last few years, that all changed.
Why I moved away from Wordpress:
The blog was loading really slowly
I tried the caching plugins, they caused me all sorts of problems. I needed expensive hosting to support the traffic and I felt locked-in to the hosting provider because moving a Wordpress site is complicated. The reality is: Wordpress has gotten too heavy.
Creating pages and posts with the page builder was getting ridiculously slow
This is a huge point because I’d come to hate using the post editor and creating content with it. Keeping a blog should be enjoyable and there should be no friction holding me back from sharing something that I’ve just learned.
I didn’t like (or trust) the options for backing up the website
I did site backups regularly and luckily I’ve never needed them. But eventually I asked myself: What do I have to do if the site does goes down and I need to restore from the backup? I didn’t like the answer so since then I’ve been using Wordpress' paid solution: VaultPress. But VaultPress is expensive and I have no idea how it works or if I’m using it properly. And why does “backup” have to be so complicated anyway?
There is no built-in way to batch modify content
A lot of my older posts were using different formatting and styles to the newer posts. So at one point I wanted to batch modify all the posts and make them uniform. Doing it one-by-one was not an option because of my 2nd point and just because there were so many posts, so I had to do this in an automated way. Getting this done with Wordpress worked out to be insanely complicated.
Why I’m using Hugo now:
Hugo is a static website generator, so the web server just has to serve up pregenerated HTML - it doesn’t have to pull the content from a database and generate the HTML dynamically, like Wordpress does.
Simple content management
My content is now organized into directories and text files, and version controlled in a Git repository. I much prefer editing text files on my PC than using the web based post editor of Wordpress. Also, having all my posts in text files simplifies so many things for me, from doing batch modifications to rolling back site changes. I’m also much more comfortable knowing that my content is backed up in a Git repo on Bitbucket, and I know exactly how it works.
Hosting is easy
I don’t need expensive hosting now and transferring the website from one host to another is as simple as copying over the
public_htmldirectory. The other great thing about Hugo is that you can setup Netlify to host the site for you, and regenerate the site each time you make a push to your Git repo.
What else is new?
Since I’ve moved everything over to Hugo, I’ve organized the posts into three categories which hopefully makes it easier to find the content that you want:
The other thing that I have done is added a new topic: Entrepreneurial. I often get emails from readers who ask me things like: How can I get a job as an FPGA developer? How can I get into FPGA consulting? How do you get clients? What do you recommend to someone who is starting a career in FPGAs? So I’ve created this topic to start answering those questions, but also because entrepreneurship is something I’m intensely interested in and I’d like to share more of my own experiences in business.