One of my favorite hobbies is spending hours and hours obsessing over decisions that don’t really matter. Last year I replaced my phone with a new one, but not before going back and forth for weeks and reading every review I could find. I probably spent more time choosing a phone than I spent deciding whether or not to move to Qatar.
The decision I pored over this month was whether or not to migrate my blog from WordPress to a new, simpler platform called Jekyll. This (in)decision was spurred by the fact that I don’t really enjoy the reading experience on my blog. The text is text too small and the columns are too wide, and it’s slow, sometimes taking over ten seconds to load.
I could’ve just updated the design, of course, but what if I rebuilt the blog from scratch? If I did, these would be my priorities:
The whole point of reworking my blog is to make it easier to read, so I’d start with a basic design that employs a narrower column, larger font, and increased line-height.
Simple websites are easier to navigate and easier to read. I’d remove everything that doesn’t directly serve those two objectives. This would result in a few compromises, which I’ll cover below.
Instead of taking ten seconds to load, this new version should load in less than one. And instead of requiring six megabytes of data, the homepage would now weigh in at just 300 kilobytes, a savings of 95 percent.
As with any major change, this one would require a few compromises:
1. No more comments
I know that the comments on my blog are mostly for me rather than for readers, so I don’t plan on adding that functionality to my new setup. Comments would still be possible via Facebook (where I share all of my posts) and email.
2. No more web app
One of the nice things about my old platform was that I could easily write and post from anywhere. My new setup still allows posting from my phone or another computer (as long as it has an internet connection), but now it’s more cumbersome. I’m not too worried about that, though, since I do the vast majority of my blogging from my laptop.
As is probably already apparent, I’ve gone ahead with the transition from WordPress to Jekyll and from an old, slow, difficult to read design to what you see in front of you. Special thanks to Leo Babauta, Mark Otto, and John Otander for the inspiration.