This here blog is the most active part of my online stuff. I occasionally buy domains thinking that I’ll use them for something awesome but I never get it off the ground. The reasons are as multitudinous as the faces of God in an oilspill, but there’s a regression of realisations each time: I have an idea, I need to draw the idea, I need to design the homepage of the idea, I need to code the site for the idea, I haven’t done any coding since before CSS hit puberty and the www has become frightening and I feel inadequate.
But I have a small project gearing up, and once again here I am. Looking at static site generators (Hugo, 11ty, Jekyll) on the one hand, and website builders on the other (Nicepage, Coffeecup, Sparkle) and I’m like that starving ass stuck between two haystacks. The SSG:s seem nice because they offer an analogue to what I remember of the web – fast code, no fluff, all content in a folder structure I can keep in my head – but my ageing brain doesn’t like Markup, and the smallest snag in the command line makes me sigh heavily. The website builders look nice, but me still remembers the bad old days of Frontpage and Dreamweaver and the resulting abominations which worked differently in different browsers; and of course I harbor a snobbish resentment towards anything WYSIWYG, because what part of my personality indicates I wouldn’t?
The upside of website designers is that I could focus on the actual design and get stuff done. Going the SSG route would force me to dip–the–tip into html/css/JS again and learn something new, perhaps giving me some ideas and useful skills. Haystack 1, haystack 2.
Currently, monocultured.com uses Koken which is a lightweight CMS for photography portfolios, but it hasn’t been updated in four years and I’ve had some trouble with image caching and slow loading – so instead of fondling the current site into shape I’m thinking of redoing it from scratch. Is that a stupid approach? Should I by now realise that the thought “this time I’ll get it right” is an excuse for bike-shedding?
Another step in my lets-get-started regression is that I don’t know where to find info on this kind of stuff. I can find occasional reviews or best-practice articles on Hacker News, or more in depth stuff on A list apart, but I’ve spent two–three hours searching for evaluations of site builders but all I find are posts & videos by annoying shits comparing features in order to earn affiliate kickbacks. I’m sure the information is out there somewhere, but it’s just become too darn difficult for me to find; Google has been SEO’d to shit and is unhelpful, and I don’t where else to start. Reddit? Mefi?