I've given up on using a CMS for my personal website.

Over the years I have tried so many: Wordpress, Jeckyll, Ghost and more. They all had various pros and cons but as I think about it I just don't really see the value.

When I was on Wordpress the issue was that it was slow and resource intensive. If I got a lot of traffic for something I wrote it could easily take down my whole site. I looked into caching solutions and the like but it was always a problem.

While Ghost and Jeckyll are static, somewhat solving the resource issue it seems Ghost can be expensive to run on Digital Ocean (or complex if you want to try it set it up yourself) and while it can be intuitive I kept running into random issues around updating it or making it do the things I wanted it to. If I wanted to mess with the design it was an involved process.

Then I had a thought: why?

I know HTML, it's my first love. It opened up a world to me, allowing me to create things on the Internet and share them!

I decided to go back to my roots. I have switched my website entirely to HTML and CSS (with a few hacks thrown in).

Things I lose:

No cross site changes

Instead of taking two seconds to modify the navigation or footer elements I now have to copy and paste the changes I want to make into each and every page.

Comments, tags and all that jazz

Never really cared about this stuff. People don't really comment anymore and I doubt very many people are actually using tags these days. No need for them! Not to mention, since this isn't a blog it's not as much of an issue.

What I gain:

Speed!

Can't get much faster than static HTML!

Futureproof

HTML is obviously here to stay. There will be updates of course but they generally don't break any websites built using older versions of HTML. For the most part the updates simply add functionality.

Ease of use

HTML is simply what I'm used to. Setting up new pages or doing whatever the heck I want will be easy from here on out. No more reading help pages or wondering if I'm incompetent.

Current set up

This site runs on Github Pages which saves me some money since it's free. I use Bootstrap to simplify my frontend and the rest is hand coded (please ignore all the silly mistakes!)

I use Cloudflare so I can have SSL. In reality there is no reason to have this on a static site with no forms but hey, it's considered standard now and I don't want people using Chrome to see a big security warning.

An extra cool feature of Github as my main host is that is kind of comes with a built in CMS. I can edit the HTML right within Github itself without needing to do anything locally, meaning I can edit my site from anywhere the same way I could with other CMS set ups.

This isn't a set up that would work for everyone. In all honesty it's kind of a special case that it works out so well for me!

Curious what the code looks like (or not in the mood to hit View Source over and over?) check out the whole site on Github!

Check out my other articles.