Writing a Technical Blog in 2020

I started writing technical articles in or around 2013 when I was working as a freelance web developer for mainly WordPress sites. My reasons for doing so were the following:

  1. To consolidate the information I was learning.
  2. As a reference for problems I had already solved.
  3. To share information with the WordPress community.
  4. To legitimise my know-how as a developer in order to get clients.
  5. I found I actually enjoyed writing technical articles.

The only thing that has really changed since then in regards to the list is that I no longer need to get clients. On the other hand, a nine-to-five job (really a nine-to-seven or eight if you count the commute) leaves less time to write articles and to maintain a site. My motivation to write articles changed to

  1. I found I actually enjoyed writing technical articles.
  2. As a reference for problems I had already solved.
  3. To consolidate the information I was learning.

The desire to share and/or to show-off fell by the wayside probably since I was no longer as involved in the WordPress community.

Other problems that arose had mainly to do with site maintenance. As I learned new and better ways to structure a site, I became increasingly unlikeley to want to work on my site on an older technical stack. My own technical debt was quickly getting in the way. My plans to redo my site couldn’t keep up with the techninolgy I was learning and were too large in scope to implement in the time I had available to do so. My theme, which I had written over a 2 week holiday in 2013 was quicky outdated and although I wrote 2 or 3 reimplementations of it, they were actually just Proof-of-concepts which I ended up applying to client sites but never to my own.

Static site generators have interested me since the early days although I never managed to convice any of my WordPress clients to take them into consideration even though I know full-well a dynamic site requiring maintenance was unlikely to suit them in the end. I did implement one or two small sites using Jekyll

⚠️This was the end of the article as written in 2020.⚠️

I never did publish the version of the site in Gatsby. Part of this was due to time constraints. The other reason was that I never really got a handle on the whole Gatsby ecosystem. It just seemed overly complicated and difficult to maintain. I did reattempt to work on the Gatsby implementation of the site a few times in the course of the year but I often got lost in the plugin updates and ended up spending time investigating the plugins themselves, which was indeed interesting and certainly not a waste of time.