Building A New Blog

A friend of mine is thinking about building a developer website/blog for himself. He noticed mine was on WordPress and asked about it. The only reason my website is on WP is because I was curious about theme-building, and at the time the HTML5 hype was just starting, so I wanted to try doing a HTML5 WP theme. (I must admit though, if you look at the code for this site, you’ll see I was a bit green back then).

For a developer today, I would recommend experimenting with something else. I’m not a WP hater. It is good for small blogs, and is by far the largest CMS so hating on it is an exercise in futility. Unless you want to learn WP theming so you can make money on Themeforest, why not learn something more fun. There are two main options I see.


There are a lot of WP alternatives these days. I’d stay away from Joomla or Drupal despite their positions as #2 and #3 in popularity. They are bloated beasts (in my humble opinion). I think their popularity will fade, and they’ll be usurped by something better. Noupe has put together a great overview of the current non-WP CMS landscape. Personally, I’d pick Concrete5. Has the best reputation, its adoption is growing quickly and it just looks pretty damn cool to use. Others to explore would be Squarespace or Weebly, because if you plan on freelancing, you may want to have those in your toolbox.

Use a Static Site Generator

Static site generators are a trend that popped up about a year ago. I think when Jekyll first showed up it got people thinking. The reason you might want to go this route is that they will load (eventually) no matter what. No worries about traffic spikes frying the server-side magic you have going on. Another reason is that it feels a little more pure web, and web crawlers will feast on all your content, likely resulting in some nice SEO.

Here’s a nice roundup of static website generators out there now. Of these, Hyde seems pretty popular and a good choice if you want to go the Python/Django route. Missing from that list is one that looks pretty cool one called PieCrust. There are also cool possibilities of combining a generator with Amazon’s S3 or Github pages.

Another option would be to roll your own CMS or static site generator of course. But hey, don’t we have enough of these things already? Instead, find something close to what you would envision making, and use that. If you find that there are things you don’t like, either contribute to the project or go ahead and roll your own at that point.

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