Swapping WordPress for Astro

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

20 years of WordPress

It’s been a while… you can tell by my writing history (non-existent) that my technical setup for my website hasn’t been great – in years.

Once I transitioned to a Vue-focused development setup for work, WordPress became a hassle. I had trouble letting go of a beloved friend, but I secretly admitted that making websites was much more fun with JavaScript.

I started my first blog when the tool to use was ”greylog/Greymatter” (which the internet barely even seems to remember anymore, haha). This must have been back in 2000. Later I switched to ”b2/cafelog”, and eventually, that became WordPress. So, I’ve been in the WordPress ecosystem since 2003. That’s 20 years!

WordPress was my highscool CMS sweetheart, but we’ve grown apart.

In search of a new companion

I had some separation anxiety, but it was evident that the relationship with WordPress had to end. Despite trying out multiple more-or-less modern tools, I just hadn’t found a better alternative. But Astro… I gotta give it to you!

I was skeptical, of course. I’d attempted numerous static-site setups with Jekyll, Hugo, Next, Gatsby, Nuxt, Eleventy… feels like I tried everything on the Jamstack list. I even spent three days creating a VitePress blog from scratch, knowing beforehand it was my last, desperate resort*. But it all felt off. Too much tweaking, hacking, bad developer experiences, and generally, just ugh. Too many workarounds to get the most essential things down.

* I love VitePress, but it's not a blogging tool.

My love letter to Astro

Anything powered by Vite will probably provide an excellent developer experience. That’s my starting point. And despite Astro’s lengthy, wordy blog tutorial (which is fantastic if your patience lasts longer than 3 seconds and you just want the docs), setting up took me two days, including rewriting the CSS and JavaScript for the third time (that’s on me!).

It was a pleasure to work with. Simple, efficient, out-of-the-box, and versatile. Everything I could ever want from my new partner. The routing, the RSS feed, and the simple way to create weird layouts on a need-to-be basis…

Here’s my love list for Astro:

I’m sold!