If you’ve ever visited this blog before—& gosh, I sure hope you have!—then you’re probably noticing that things are very different here. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been migrating from WordPress to Jekyll & Octopress. Besides the new (pretty default, which I will change) look, you should also see speedy page loads. Why? Because while WordPress creates dynamic, PHP- & MySQL-driven websites, Octopress instead generates static sites, which will always load much faster. That’s a huge win for you & for me.

So besides speed, why else did I switch to Octopress?

  • WordPress is really nice, but it’s a lot of stuff. I wanted something leaner & meaner.
  • My entire site is on my Mac. I write here, check out how things look, re-generate the site at any time, & then use rsync to send the changes to my server. Having everything local & under my control is really nice.
  • By the way, everything is written in Markdown, which I use for almost everything I write. I could use Markdown with WordPress, but it was an add-on; with Octopress, it’s how you’re expected to write.
  • My entire site is versioned with Git. Another bonus.
  • Octopress takes care of a lot of the things you have to worry about with a straight Jekyll install. I’m always looking for the lazy alternative, so Octopress sounded much better than just Jekyll.
  • Based on all the people using Jekyll & Octopress (just a smidge compared to the huge numbers using WordPress, but still, enough that they’re both viable projects), it appears that they’re going to be around a while.
  • Octopress embraces responsive design & therefore looks good on a variety of different devices. WordPress does too, but I think Octopress does a slightly better job.
  • It just makes sense to me: move the dynamic stuff onto my computer, & serve the static results to visitors on the Web. That provides the best of both worlds.
  • It was fun learning a new system!

With the switchover to Octopress, I’ve put in place several new features:

  • I’ve turned on commenting, which use Disqus. We’ll see how it goes. If it becomes a spam haven, I’ll revisit my decision.
  • I’ve instituted categories. I realized a few months in that I should have been using them, but it just seemed like too much work to retroactively add them in WordPress. When I moved over to Octopress, I went through and added a bunch.
  • The RSS feed is different. If you subscribed to the old feed, you’re OK for now, as I put in place a redirection that points to the new feed. Really, though, you should subscribe to the new feed, which is located at http://www.chainsawonatireswing.com/atom.xml.

I’m really happy with the new system, & I hope you find it better too!