Over the next few days and weeks (or months — we'll see how it goes) I'll be updating
the theme of this blog to something cleaner, and without the enormous background image (lovely though it is). In the process, I'll be migrating it to a new system
and I though it was worth talking briefly about why.
## What's wrong with WordPress?
Don't get me wrong — I really like WordPress. Over the last few years it's
matured into a full-featured and very easy to use CMS.
The plugin system allows you to do a lot of clever things without a lot of
But recently I got to thinking: how much of what my blog does needs to be
generated on the server each time someone visits? Answer: none of it! WordPress has a lot of power, and that power is only used when something changes — when I publish a post or someone adds a comment.
The only thing that really needs some clever stuff behind it is the comments,
because visitors need to be able to add comments without editing the page source directly. But there are services like
[Disqus](http://disqus.com) which can deal with that.
The main reason I use WordPress, in the end, is because I can cleanly separate
content (posts and pages) from design (themes). But there are other ways of
## What's the new system?
The software I'm moving to is called [nanoc](http://nanoc.stoneship.org) and
here are a few cool things about it:
- It generates static HTML, so my web server ([Nginx](http://nginx.net)) can
just focus on serving up content (and I can save a little bit by downsizing
because I'm not having to run a whole RDBMS).
- It does this by processing a folder full of plain text files formatted with (for example) [Markdown](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown). That means that I can write with whatever tools I have available, whether that's [Vim](http://vim.org/) on the desktop, one of many iPad/iPhone text editors or even an SSH connection to the server.
- It's based on Ruby, my current favourite programming language. I love the
way Ruby lets you express what you want to do clearly and concisely without
compromising on power. There's less code and it does more.
- Though it's easy to maintain, it's quite technical (though not difficult) to set up, which gives me a lovely warm geeky feeling inside without anyone else having to put up with it!
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's gone through the same process, or have been thinking along the same lines. There are a few who've [done it already](http://userprimary.net/posts/2010/02/07/from-wordpress-to-nanoc/), and their experiences are proving handy.