From Jekyll to WordPress: I’m Now On The Latter

Jan 29, 2019

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You might not think that this website looks any different than it did a year and a half ago. That’s because the theme is (mostly) the same. But in fact over the past few days it’s gone through a transformation. I took the wonderful Minimal Mistakes theme by Michael Rose for Jekyll, converted it into a WordPress theme, and migrated all of my content. Having already gained some experience building my own WordPress themes, I accomplished this transition without too many hitches. Converting my content from Markdown to WordPress-friendly text took some time. I needed to download highlight.js and change my code blocks accordingly for proper syntax highlighting. Getting the CSS right was also a little time-consuming. Luckily WordPress has the built-in customizer to live preview CSS changes.

It’s not often people make the reverse migration – from a static site generator like Jekyll to the database-backed, plugin-heavy WordPress CMS. I really only use this website as a blog, and Jekyll was suitable for my needs.

So why did I make the switch? Two reasons:

WordPress is my middle name

It’s actually Lloyd, but close enough. Anyway, I have four websites on WordPress and interact with two of them on a daily basis. I know the platform in and out. This website was the one exception for which I used Jekyll. I’m used to the WordPress editor (the classic editor – I haven’t gotten around to trying Gutenberg). I like uploading my photos to a media library, rather than using an assets folder and using HTML to resize each image to my liking. I want blogging to feel easy and I want to have a consistent experience across all of my websites. I’ll probably blog more often now that I’m on my favorite platform.

It’s no longer cheaper for me to use Jekyll

The original reason I got started with Jekyll is that GitHub offers free hosting for pages that make use of a static site generator. You can purchase a custom domain name from a provider while not paying anything to store your website. That was cost-effective when I didn’t have any other websites to worry about. Nowadays, I already pay for a web hosting package on SiteGround that allows for an unlimited number of add-on domains. That means I could host this website for no additional cost, removing the advantage of GitHub pages.

So yeah – I’m on WordPress now!