Switching from WordPress to GatsbyJS

Why I will never use WordPress again.

Initially, I created a marketing site in WordPress, using a purchased theme, lightly customized it, and threw it on the internet.

Why I will never use WordPress again.

  1. My marketing site is slow AF. It could probably be sped up with some plugins and whatever other BS, but that's a decent amount of work and discovery, and things that I need to figure out.

  2. The theme is complex, and looks great out of the box, but is really hard to edit. I got someone on Fiverr to redo the copy on my site, and I haven't made the copy changes in a few months, because anything more substantial than just editing text, is a huge PITA.

  3. If you pay attention to security, at all, WordPress is pretty much always having some kind of catastrophic meltdown. It's just the marketing site, but man, I would prefer not to be hacked, or have my server taken over for mining.

If you want to see how slow the current site is, checkout Tengable.com.

What went well with WordPress

1. There are some plugins for backups etc... that are really smooth, and sync with s3. I relied on them a few times after borked upgrades.

2. There are plugins for EVERYTHING. Which is nice when you want something quick, like a GDPR plugin that shows the little warning.

Giving Gatsby a shot

I recently slapped The Wooley Way Community Site together, and decided to give GatsbyJS a try. I'm could not be more impressed. Gatsby had always been something I heard about, but never tried. Man, that was a mistake.

What is going well

  1. I am using GitHub pages for hosting, and the load times are near instant. I thought it must have somehow been cached, or behind some kind of web-worker.

  2. There is no need for backups, since it's backed by git. I am not using contentful or anything, just markdown files.

  3. Since I'm just using markdown/react, It's easy AF to edit pages.

For comparison purposes, here is the lighthouse score for the The Wooley Way Community Site.

Takeaways

  1. For any future sites, I will not be using WordPress, or any other CMS (except maybe something like contentful, with an api and custom frontend). Since I already have the web dev skills, it's easier to just make things from scratch, than to fight someone else’s premade shenanigans.

  2. Just because themes are quick, does not mean they will actually save you time, beyond the initial setup.