Goodbye Wordpress, Hello Jekyll
As you probably do not recall, this blog was not always running on Wordpress. In it’s first incarnation, it was actually running Drupal . And as of yesterday, we can add Wordpress to the list of former lithostech.com platforms. This site is now running on Jekyll, and since it seems to be relatively unkown compared to wordpress, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explore this change and explain the move. What follows could be looked at as a comparison of Wordpress to Jekyll as a blogging platform.
Wordpress has served me well. There are plenty of free, prebuilt themes ready to rock. Sadly, if you’re searching for Wordpress themes and you only consider themes that are mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, easy to work on and not full of bloat, you’ve already elimated the vast majority of both free and paid themes that are available. If you want something visually appealing, you’re really down to a small handful of available themes which means your only real option is to use one of those and extend it, or write your own.
This is a bit daunting, but totally possible, especially starting from
an example. Just read theme development docs
and have a great time.
<?php var_dump($foo); die(); ?> your way to a complete theme if
you have the time, but unless you’re very familiar with this theming
API, it’s going to take a while. It’s possible to do just about anything
you can imagine, but I found theme authorship to be slow and painful and
more than a little annoying.
Jekyll uses liquid for templating which is quite powerful and much more compact than plain PHP. After all, Jekyll is a much simpler tool than Wordpress, and for me that simplicity is a core strength. Have a look at this page’s layout to get an idea of how simple it is to write Jekyll themes.