Why I Stopped Using WordPress

For My Personal Blog, Anyway

I originally wrote this article for Volume 122, Issue 5 of mathNEWS.

  • Lots of people use it, which makes it an attractive target for hackers.
  • I have no idea how to lock down a vanilla installation from remote code exploits, let alone one with fancy plugins and themes.
  • It feels like there's a new update every second week, and every installation I have is at least two minor versions out of date.
  • I'm always afraid that I'll lose my database since my el-cheapo shared host makes backing up the database a pain.
  • Even though my static content generator has been unmaintained for a good year, I can move to a new one at my own leisure -- since the code runs only on my laptop and only when I change the content.
  • Static content generators output websites that are just HTML, folders, and media assets. No server-side code -- it reminds me of websites from 1998, except that the navigation links are actually consistent from page to page.
  • Serving up static files is insanely inexpensive compared to starting up a PHP process -- I've spent an average of $0.19 (yes, 19 cents a month) to host my blog for the last six months.


P.S. I feel like the (now professor) who wrote the old mathNEWS production system was ahead of his time. It used to output static HTML for webbing issues – but it was this strange interaction of Perl 4 and LaTeX that few, if any, of the current undergraduate students know how to work properly.