Why I am Switching from Blogger

Photo by Juan Di Nella on Unsplash

Like most people who blog I’ve got a massive backlog of articles I need to publish, but somehow I keep missing the targets. There is actually a long list of excuses to why I keep avoiding to do so.

If I were to list out them probably the most serious ones are these.

  1. I blog on Blogger
  2. My Laptop needs a battery change
  3. Work Related commitments keep arising

While the 2nd one and the 3rd one can be fixed somewhat easily its the first one I find the most difficult.

When I was looking for a blogging platform there were few things I was looking out for.

Easy to Write

What I meant by easy to write is support for markdown formatting. (Wikipedia Page on Markdown). This formatting is a just type solution, without needing to use complex tools to format the text. This is to separate the idea from the implementation so that I don’t get distracted by the various features and such. To highlight this the Author of Game of Thrones is still using an old PC (verge article), you’ll understand why after watching the link in the video.

Minimalism

The theme I’m using on this site is very minimalist but it still not providing enough Minimalism for me. My blog is mostly just text and images, I don’t embed any visual content, for that reason I do not require JavaScript to render plaintext. Minimalism isn’t just using some fancy font with lots of white space, it should also be functionally minimal. I’ve been looking at Ruby based site generators to generate content using Markdown to standard CSS and HTML without JS. This has become my weekend project.

Analytics

Google provides a good set of tools for analytics and I am quite happy with it for now. But I am in an pursuit to switch away from the Google Ecosystem. Speed Page load times are pretty fast, but it could be faster. For those who are stuck with slow 3G / Edge, blogger is still far fetched. As what I said on my approach to minimalism this could also be solved very easily.

Ethics

This is one area that we tend to overlook, perhaps the thing that got me thinking. Blogger is run by Google and for the past few years its become notorious for the wrong reasons. I understand that for each page visit that I get on my blog google is able to gain valuable information about its users. I also understand that for google to provide services for free they need to capitalize on certain aspects. But the data usually tends to be used in questionable ways, I found it difficult to support Google’s current stance on data protection. However the plus side is Google isn’t behaving to the extent of Facebook (which deserves a whole other article).

Why not WordPress ?

I’ve been a WordPress user since discovering it in the early days of its development, Its amazing to see how far it has come, but the only cravat is that its become too bloated for its own good. The distinction that I need to make here is that WordPress is no longer a Blog Tool, its a CMS (Content Management System) an open source solution at that. CMS systems are great if you’re running a Business, but not if you’re running a Personal Blog. With the themes and plugins, it could easily eat up all the performance. My aim is to keep things simple and portable. In the event my service provider halts everything I still got my files to easily migrate to another platform. WordPress will tick all the boxes for me if I were to run the entire thing on an Amazon AWS or Azure Instance, but this is not a cost effective solution for running a blog.

So as a solution for the past couple of weeks I’ve been sourcing out cheap alternatives for maintaining a blog, along with analytics. I will most likely go with GitHub’s own hosting solution, and with enough effort I should be able to coin together a functional solution.

Final Remark

Like I’ve said before most sites can be run with simple HTML and CSS, but I don’t want to get into developing a whole website, like WordPress or blogger. A markdown site generator would do simply fine. I am only pursuing this solution only because I understand the technical aspects of internet technologies, if you’re the average person reading this. Blogger or WordPress would simply do fine. Once I’ve done the migration I’ll leave a redirect link to the new site.

I understand that some of these suggestions may be a bit too out there for most people reading this. But I could teach the process through a tutorial. I will put this on my already lengthy backlog. of things to write.