When I last revamped my website quite a few years ago, Wordpress was "the new black", and of course I had to use that for jesperrasmussen.com.

This time around however, I got off the Wordpress train for good.

Why leave Wordpress ?

Well, back in the day, Wordpress was a miracle mean to get started blogging. However, increasing amounts of developers seem to abandon it these days. Why is that ?

From my perspective, Wordpress was a way to get going fast previously. Getting from 0 to full-site could be done in an evening. However, Wordpress is also overkill, if you don't take advantage of the features that makes it up, or if you basically just want to write and post quickly.

Furthermore, I got rather annoyed by the fact that I had to upload images, create links etc. through a cumbersome interface. Now, my online life is somewhat simpler.

What is Jekyll ?

Jekyll is basically a static site generator, which makes use of a combination of documents in HTML and Markdown, using simple templating techniques to make static pages for every part of a seemingly dynamic website.

Oh, and it's Ruby <3

What is Octopress ?

Octopress makes it a bit easier to get started with Jekyll. Octopress adds easy theming, SASS, HTML templates etc. to Jekyll, and allows all of it to "compile" to a Jekyll site. Think of it as a Jekyll "wizard" - You can get started quickly, but if you want make use of the full power of Jekyll, and know the engine better, you'd probably move on to plain Jekyll eventually.

Advantages of Jekyll / Octopress over Wordpress

  • Every post is just Markdown, making it easy for developers to get easily laid out posts, using simple markup. There's no clicking buttons for setting headlines or paragraphs, just plain text with codes.
  • Simplicity is powerful. The learning curve for writing posts is very easy.
  • Automation is key. Everything is built from source whenever you deploy, meaning you can automate mostly anything for Jekyll. If you can script it, you can automate it. Basically, you could pretty easily script automatic creation and publishing of posts, based on other data sources, like 3rd party API's etc.
  • You never have to leave a shell or texteditor to make new posts
  • Managable through repository use. Everything is just code, everything is filebased, and as such easy to handle through versioncontrol.
  • There's no database to care about.
  • Static files make for faster served sites.

Read more

The official Jekyll site Octopress