GENERALLY NERDY RAMBLINGS

Giving up on Wordpress

After having stumbled and dithered upgrading my wife’s web site to use Wordpress for way too long I decided it was time to move on.

She had been living with an ancient, PHP-based web presence that I had cobbled together in the last century. For something like a year I had toyed with converting her to a Wordpress-based site.

In the end my issues with Wordpress included:

Moving Wordpress content

I wanted to be able to start the conversion and let my wife gradually back-fill with content she wanted to replicate in the new site - that was the plan. When we were ready we would replace her current content with a Wordpress redux. But it seems as though Wordpress wants to repeatedly store the current web address in its database contents, among other aspects of re-hosting content. I didn’t want an additional chore once we were ready to go live. And the whole backup and restore of Wordpress content did not seem to be something for even relatively savvy IT people to step into without fairly good familiarity with the database structure.

Wordpress’ themes and plugins

Coming in naive I assumed one could change themes and swap plugins in and out as desired. It does not seem to work that way. Both Wordpress themes and plugins just seem too enforce too much lock-in once they were chosen. Similarly with the backup and restore database issue - why are the options for this fundamental capability and the related moving content from one hosting service to another reliant on plugins? The whole landscape around choosing and using plugins to add functionality I found too difficult to wrap my head around without a major investment of becoming a PHP and Wordpress expert.

Command line support

I’m a command-line guy. I want to be able to script the maintenance of things as much as possible. But when I started this the state of WP-CLI seemed to be just getting off the ground. I (sort of) understand the desire to manage everything from Wordpress’ own admin interface but I found the insistence on that unappealing. I want some script-able way to get back to a working configuration if I screw up big time.

The final straw

The straw that broke my back: Wordpress seems to have become malware authors’ target of opportunity. The CVE list for Wordpress and its underlying PHP and MySQL gets deeper all the time. I did not want a continuing admin headache of upgrades required by Wordpress / PHP / MySQL vulnerabilities.

And in the end, did an artist’s web site consisting mostly of images and a relatively small amount of text really need a database back end and all this complexity? There had to be a better way.