How It Is

Mailbag: Wasting Time

Everything comes back to WordPress.

Today’s question comes from a Slack DM tossed my way about learning and possibly discarding Jekyll.

Don’t you think you’re wasting your time learning all these nonWordPress things?

Nope! Every single thing I’ve learned and discarded has improved my skill set.

Let’s take MediaWiki. Learning that taught me templating in a way that I never would have understood in WordPress. It also taught me about the perils of your ‘own’ language instead of HTML. While I’ve come to like Markdown, you still have to know HTML to make Markdown really work, because you need to understand what it is you’re writing.

And Jekyll? I learned a lot about importing and exporting data between ‘languages’ that don’t like each other. I also learned a lot about deployment of static content. Anything but FTP, right? Jekyll had me writing my own deployment scripts.

Now that I’m looking at Hugo, really not much has changed. I’ve learned GoLang, which is not all that different from things I already knew. But it’s expanding how I think about the logic structures. Hugo’s got an up on Jekyll in a lot of ways, like how easy it is to make loops for traditional blogs. Also it can handle remote JSON a little better, which sets me up for what’s next.

You see, all of this work, all this learning, is going to come back to WordPress.

What I want to do is manage my site in WordPress and have that output the JSON (via that awesome new JSON API I’ve been learning), which will in turn be dynamically called when I want to build my static HTML site.

For sites you’re not updating daily, or even weekly, this might be the magic you need. Everyone writes on WordPress. Someone has a command (or even a script) to run that collects everything from JSON and dumps it to Hugo, which generates the site for you to proof and then push.

Version controlling the content.

Let the users write in Wordpress while you bask in the glory of your static site that is, pretty much, unhackable as a CMS. I mean… what are you going to do to my HTML?


It’s all WordPress.

One reply on “Mailbag: Wasting Time”

I think it sounds really interesting, a good exercise, and who knows? You might be onto something.

I have small sites that I have not touched in years because the client wants it that way. But every once in a while they want to make a small change here and there.

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