the control panel of a parking meter

Switching From WordPress?

Is WordPress still worth to use?

I have been using WordPress (WP) as a Content Management System for my blog for more than a decade. I had used blogger (blogspot) platform beforehand before switching to WP. I thought that WP was complicated to use compared to blogspot as WP had more features that I was unfamiliar with. But then I got more curious of WP as more people talked about it online. Many of my friends migrated to WP too.

The switch to WP

So after about a year or so, I finally switched from blogspot to WP, and it was not that smooth. Blogspot offered much more simplicity than WP, and as a newbie it was quite challenging to adapt to using WP. Overtime I learned more about WP, how to use it, how to optimize it, and more and more resources were available online, so I could customize it as well.

I have used maaaany themes on my blog from time to time, too. I have tried shared host, then move to a VPS (for the server), and now I am using AWS to host my blog. Well it is actually similar to VPS that I used. I have been doing those things in order to optimize my blog performance. I hate slow blogs/ websites, in fact, slow performance kills your blog rank on Google. Nobody likes slow blog, though.

Some people don’t mind looking at horrible looking blogs, but for me blog appearance is important too. I don’t enjoy staring at ugly blogs with ugly fonts and colors. So I try to make mine as goodlooking as I can (it’s subjective).

WordPress is everywhere, but…

You realize it or not, you have been visiting many websites that are built on WP platform. In fact, WP powers about 40% of all websites on Earth.

Many popular websites are built on it, they have their own custom themes, custom server configuration, and probably many of them using headless WP concept. Using WP as their CMS, but utilize its Rest API for the front end purpose. They use other tech stacks as front end like Next JS, React JS, etc. I have been thinking about it in recent years, the main reason is that it can boost the load speed. As I saw many sites that run that concept, the loadtime is so seamless. You can switch from one page/ blogpost to another in millisecond even.

However, there are challenges too. The main one is the technicality. I tried to use Frontity, a React based platform with headless CMS as the pair. It worked, but still not on my satisfactory yet. My skill set was still far behind had I wanted to make customizations.

But the vision is still there. To have a lot faster loading blog.

I tried to learn about Ghost, or other CMS alternatives out there. But still nothing beats WP overall. WP ecosystem as a CMS is still far ahead.

Then I saw some tweets, then turn to YouTube videos and stuff that Astro can be an alternative to build a blog on. It is not a CMS like WP, but in my opinion it can be a solution. Probably.

I tried it, copy some repo from some existing Github accounts that have Astro on it, run it on Cloudflare Pages, it actually runs well, fast, and responsive. Before doing so, I run it locally to make sure I kinda understand the stack before getting more confused.

What will I miss if I switch from WP to let’s say using an Astro based blogging stacks?

WP is great, no doubt about it. But since it runs many stuff under the hood that I could not really understand, and each of them has their own style (sometimes), plus they need to be regularly updated, makes it so challenging to me, even though I don’t have any precious thing hosted on my server, I just want to make sure that I won’t need to be concerned so much if there’s some WP security issues (believe me, there are quite a lot, and you never know).

I actually use a premium WP themes currently installed on my WP blog. It is quite beautiful, customisable, but not that much. However, the good thing is it’s ready for like 90% to my satisfactory.

If I switch from WP, surely I would miss all the basic features, like post, pages, media, links, comments, and I think I would miss the text editor so much, even though for some reasons the Gutenberg editor that WP has been running these recent years is quite controversial that enrages a lot of people who are in favor of the older editor.

Switching from WP to Astro will be absolutely a huge challenge for me, and the main reason would be the editor. But what editor? Astro doesn’t have any editor, instead I have to write the blogpost in Markdown format, has to be adjusted according to which theme I use. Furthermore, I am not a web developer, I don’t have the skillset to build an Astro theme ground up. So most of the time, I would rely on myself to re-learn, do more trials and errors, and at the end of the day, accept the fate.

Now, am I switching?

60% yes, I will switch. But I still make sure of couple of things:

  • I have to convert the existing blogposts which are about 330s of blogposts to date to markdown. Yes I found the way to convert it, but still need some manual curations.
  • Risking to lose image attachments. Most likely I won’t attach tons of images on my Astro blog later, because it need so long to host my images somewhere. I can’t put it all on my Github for sure.
  • Losing comment section most likely. What’s the point of blogging without enabling comment section? Or actually what’s the point of adding comment section, but nobody comments on it? Wow that’s a good question.

In my mind is actually about the speed of my blog. Currently on WP it loads fast in the homepage because I don’t put much stuff there. But when you switch from a blogpost to another, you would feel the slowness, even only for some milliseconds off.

The reality:
I am still considering. Now I am still a little bit doubtful. Maybe just wait for couple of months before I find a right Astro theme that I am sure would satisfy my basic need, I mean it should be not difficult to understand it. Then I would give it a shot.


Share the Post
Rizqi Fahma
Rizqi Fahma

I read, I write, I bike, I swim, but I don't smoke.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.