Making the Most of My Netlify Setup

Along with learning about Hugo, I’m also digging through Netlify as a customer for the first time. This isn’t my first time examining their offering. As a product manager at Pantheon working on the Front End Sites product, they were a platform that was definitely on my radar.

In November 2023, I left Pantheon and, as I did so, took my blog off WordPress for good. Over the years, this content has lived on WP Engine, GoDaddy, and Pantheon. Now that I was venturing off WordPress platforms, it was both freeing and nerve-wracking. What was the port for this little boat? I knew I wanted to shift to a static site generator, and so Netlify and Vercel were top of mind. Ultimately, Netlify won out as I think their product caters to smaller hobbyist sites, like this one.

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Digital Farming: The Great Slog

If you use a computer, you are a digital farmer. Maybe you are tending to your garden of emails. Perhaps you are pruning your digital catalog of photos. If you’re particularly advanced, you might be moving around old flower beds as you refactor a codebase.

Whatever it may be, you are now the proud manager of a digital landscape. It doesn’t matter if this farm produces for you (although for many people it’s their lifeblood); the tending must happen regardless lest the weeds run amuck. This the the great slog. Our systems, our digital gardens, they require constant vigilance and cleaning. You can put it off, but avoiding it entirely is not a winning strategy.

My gardening today consisted of a variety of small tasks around the blog.

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Why Hugo, Why Not WordPress

My first tour of the WordPress admin was in 2009 (version 2.8 - Chet Baker). In my four years of freelancing after college, I dug through and created countless themes and plugins. After moving to Seattle, I ran product development at LexBlog, a digital publishing company where WordPress was front and center. In the past two years, I worked at Pantheon, a WebOps company supporting Drupal and WordPress website teams.

In sum, WordPress is a large part of my life.

Even now, as I make the decision to walk away from the WYSIWYG editor that is closest to my heart, I know it will remain a large part of my life. If not in my day-to-day, then in my memories.

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