The answer is: yes… I have created a lot of websites recently. Shall I list them?
- Extratone Wiki
- Extratone Blog
- Bilge (blog)
- Dieselgoth (car blog)
- Crud Magazine (still very much pre-launch)
I knew Markdown had to be involved and that I never wanted to look at anything like WordPress’ dashboard ever again.
Yes, just three months ago, I cited an earlier vow to never use WordPress again, largely out of an effort to avoid “fiddling [my] life away,” as CJ Eller so poignantly phrased it in his interview. It’s quite possible that I am just avoiding actually finishing “the Facebook essay” which I have been working on for most of the summer thus far. Regardless, I thought I’d install a default WordPress instance and see how the CMS has progressed since the early days of the Gutenberg editor’s launch.
As I’m writing this, I’m using WordPress Version 5.4.2, and honestly… It is so much smoother than the last version I used. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s really very noticeable. I’ve done my best to try a wide variety of the new editor blocks in posts like “Writing About Facebook Is Overwhelming” and “Email and I: An Abridged History” and have found them all vastly more reliable. As nervous as the WordPress community was about the change in late 2018 – it was such a big deal that Kara Swisher actually invited Matt Mullenweg on Recode Decode, which is absurd, in retrospect – the team managed to actually pull off the Ultimate Modernization of this goddamned software that it was shooting for, in many ways. It’s still irrevocably uncool to host your blog on WordPress among the web development community, and the property is still a Big Ole Bitch, but as it stands, it is undoubtedly the best version I have ever used by a country mile, for what it’s worth.
The last time I’d checked, Automatic was far behind on releasing Twenty Twenty – their traditional yearly default theme for WordPress installations. Returning, I was enthralled to find out that they’d built it around my second favorite typeface of all time (which I enthuse over far too often): Garamond! The original arrangement is probably best showcased by Matt Mullenweg’s personal blog. It was a very bold decision which I support 9999%.
As much as I adore (and still very much intend to invest in, going forward) Writeas, there are a few things I’d like to try out in a personal website which it is not necessarily ideal for. An ongoing list of these aspirations is as follows:
- A list of software I’m trying out right now.
- A list of my current writing projects.
- “Little Reviews” – for short commentary on stuff I’ve tried when I don’t have enough to say to warrant a full “review.”
- A landing page consolidating more relevant information into a different sort of presentation.
- A deliberately-curated list of stuff on the web that makes me feel good.
Make no mistake: the future of this particular website is very uncertain. I have no idea how long I’ll leave it up or what I’ll be doing with it in the future, but here it fucking is if you happen to be curious.