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A Few Days with WordPress

Most of us regular bloggers spend a lot of time hopping from one platform to another, and if you’re stupid like me, you’ll rebrand your site half a dozen times and ruin all the goodwill you’ve built up with your readers by making them have to update your RSS each time. So, here I am back on WordPress, a place I was excited to escape not so long ago, but you know what? I’m actually really happy where I’m at.

Besides self-hosting and feeling in control of what I create, WordPress isn’t so bad. I mean, I wouldn’t pay for a account and encourage them to feed my data to the AI overlords, but let’s be honest, some AI is scraping this anyway. And if they want my mindless ramblings, so be it. There is no sense in fighting it.

I’m a fan of classic WordPress, and in the past have used ClassicPress, a fork of WordPress that drops the Gutenberg and block stuff for a more traditional experience. However, ClassicPress has some issues with theme compliance, and it limits what themes you can use. Because of this, I installed traditional WordPress, along with Classic Editor +, which brings back the Classic Editor, disables the block editor and brings back classic Widgets. Then I installed Page Links To plug-in, which I use to create links to outside sites as well as Re-add text underline and justify plug-in.

Theme-wise, I’m still limited by the disabling the block editor. I can’t use some of the great minimalist themes created by Automattic unless I want to accept theme as is or by learning more about the block editor, but it’s really not all important to me. I just want my site to look good on both mobile and a larger display, load quickly, and not be overly cluttered.

One of my favorite WordPress options is the ability to create galleries. Sometimes I’ll have a lot of pictures to display, and when you utilize most other platforms you are limited to posting the pictures one at a time on top of each other. With WordPress, I can easily create mini galleries just like back in my old HTML days.

There is another advantage to WordPress, I still need to figure out how to proceed with and that is emailed posts. In the past I used Jetpack to allow folks to subscribe via email. I’m personally not a huge fan of subscribing by email but my IRL friends, who aren’t big on visiting websites in 2024, love it. It’s the only way some of them will even try and keep up with my blog. My recent change in domain name was also partially inspired by this, because another friend of mine was willing to visit my site since he could no longer receive emails, but the .xyz domain was blocked on the wi-fi at his work where he did most of his browsing. I found out that quite a few public wi-fi block the .xyz domain, thus my pivot back to a .com a bit ago.

The one thing I’ve learned is that bouncing platforms is less about finding the best platform and more about tinkering. I think it’s something for the curious to explore under the guise of trying to find the best platform. Similar to the best camera, the best platform is the one that you’ll use the most. Whether that’s Blogger, Ghost, Scribbles, BearBlog, Pika, or, it’s just whatever makes writing and blogging fun for you.

I know it’s only been a few days, but I feel great about my switch. I also feel a bit more focused. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m excited for the future and happy to get back to blogging that feels a bit more authentic to me.

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