Scribbles from R Scott Jones
May 31st, 2024

Why I'm sticking with Wordpress, at least for now


I love many of the new, simple blogging platforms—Scribbles, Pika,, Bear Blog,, and so forth. They're useful for helping you get words on page without much fuss. You don't worry about endlessly tweaking your design, because there really isn't much of one. Like social media, it's more standard interface than personal website. This can be refreshing for those of us who don't enjoy tinkering with code; it lets you focus on what you write, not how everything looks.

But in that simplicity, I'm finding it more difficult to abandon Wordpress for my primary site than I'd like it to be.

That's not because I actually enjoy using Wordpress these days—it's far too complicated than it used to be, at least for me. I don't enjoy the experience there anymore, at all. But it offers some basic features that those simple platforms just...don't (perhaps won't?).


If you already have your own domain name and are moving an existing website from one platform to another, you probably already have a slew of published pages and posts. But many of these platforms don't allow you to choose your own permalink structure, or update an .htaccess file.

So anyone who has gone to the trouble of linking to one of my posts is, well, about to regret having done so, as moving to another platform kills those links. For companies and customers that espouse a return to personal websites and blogging—where we intentionally directly link to others' sites instead of relying on social media algorithms—this feels especially out of tune.

Related to that is maintaining the integrity of the links on one's own site. There seem to be plenty of external services that you can employ to do this, but it seems like it should be a core feature that's omnipresent in all blogging software. After all, if links are the lifeblood of the web, shouldn't they be treated as important enough to keep current by every web publishing platform? At the very least, make this process as integrated and seamless as possible for me, so it's easier to keep up-to-date.

Better menu support

While most of these platforms offer some variety of static pages—ones that live outside of the traditional chronological feed—there isn't much support for websites that have more than a handful of pages, especially when it comes to menus.

There are a host of standard pages (here's another good list of them) that are commonly found on personal websites. If you linked to each of these in your menu, it'd quickly overwhelm any other pages you'd like to highlight. Now, part of the idea of /slash pages is that they're found in standard locations, but who wants to type in every variation hoping to get lucky? Sure, you can create one slashes page and manually link to everything within that one page. But that's a hack workaround that buries the links.

On my website, I have nearly as many static pages as I do topical blog posts. Most of them are not standard slash pages that anyone would guess. I mean, not many other people have a quest to cross every state border combination in the country. Or visit all the sites that were once national parks but have since been abolished or transferred. Or to visit all of the World's Largest Balls of Twine (yes, there's four different ones that all claim the title)(And yes, I can go on and on about my various quests—don't tempt me).

For me, these are all pages instead of posts because they're more a permanent reference than a timely update. They shouldn't be associated with a particular date, even if more detailed updates should be. For instance, Ideally I'd have one page for each of my ongoing travel quests, with occasional blog posts detailing when I've marked off another objective that are then referenced in the main page. At least, that's what makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, simple menus just don't allow for me to highlight all of the pages I have—pages that I always want to remain easily accessible no matter where on the site you are.

Photo galleries

One of the things I'd like to get back to on my website is posting more about our various travels, including posting a number of pictures from each trip. For the last decade or more, most of these ended up on social media platforms instead, which is a real shame. They should live on my personal website, after all.

But nearly all of the simple blogging platforms make posting a series of photos less-than-ideal. Sure, they render fine, but are mostly just a bunch of full-width images that require a lot of scrolling to get through. This doesn't work very well for travel-related posts, as my visitors are pretty divided on whether they're there primarily to see photos or there to read about the trip. 

While it requires a bit more coding complication, I like having things like a customized tiled gallery, or a carousel, or a slider of some sort for various photo-heavy blog posts. Hell, for a long time, it was a leading factor in which Wordpress theme I chose.

Where does that leave me?

Oh hell if I know! 🤷‍♂️ 

The most likely scenario here is that I first attempt a redesign of my Wordpress site (which sounds awful), while also micro-blogging on one of these other services—always using a custom domain that I can later redirect if I move those posts elsewhere. And if that solution doesn't seem to work well, then perhaps the endeavor provides me with a bit more clarity on how to proceed.

[29/31] for #WeblogPoMo2024
[31/100] for #100DaystoOffload