Andy Hawthorne

Thoughts, stories and ideas

Blogging Like a Coder

This weblog looks plain an simple, like I’m a coder or something, but that’s not the reason it looks like that.

You want a blog and you want it to be the best blog in the world. Even though there’s gazillions of them out there already. 

You choose one of the default platforms. Or the default - WordPress. And off you go. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Or is there?

WordPress does have a lot of bloat. And it’s not free. There will be a bill involved somewhere - for hosting at least. Many other options are the same. You get a nice blog but updating from anywhere can be tricky.

I like to write using my iPhone. Well, if I get an idea and I don’t want to get my laptop out, I’ll write it using my iPhone. I can also publish the post. 

While there is a WordPress app and it does work well, it is still a faff running a WordPress blog because of:

  • Cost
  • Security
  • All the bloat

I don’t want the platform to take over my content production. 

I’ve been blogging for years. And I’ve been trying to settle on a blogging platform for years. I started out writing technical posts about coding (aha! he is a coder - I was, I’m not now) and now I write like… it’s a weblog. 

That means, I started out building my own. Then, I switched to using Jekyll. I got more focused on the writing and content production so I moved to WordPress. Then, back to Jekyll, then my own build…

And so it goes. 

Why all the chopping and changing? You learn that people don’t have time to read your blog posts. They’ll read them if they get something from it. 

The platform you chuck your words at becomes irrelevant. Because it’s quality content that matters. Google cares not a jot about your platform. It does care about quality content that has structure and linking. 

That got me thinking: do I want to faff around with servers and databases? Or would I rather spend time writing my content?

Answer? No-brainer, content is king.

Now I use Hugo for my blog. I could use an increasing number of other static site generators that do the same thing. No databases or fancy server configurations. 

I write my posts using Markdown - the best way to write for the web. Push them to my source management repo and automatic publishing happens. That’s because I’m hosting on Netlify

I know that sounds geeky. I suppose it is a little. But the point is, my workflow is easy. Write, push and publish. That’s blogging like a coder. But more than that, it’s blogging easy.