Drawing of a website's design in a notebook laying on a table outside next to a smartphone.

Welcome To My New Website

By Jim (jimbo2150) • Published

Have a look around and let me know what you think.

I'll wait.

Back already? I created this new site using the Jigsaw static site generator after trying many I came to an interesting conclusion. They are largely not ready for the prime-time. Many are in alpha states and may remain there indefinitely. Others ceased development years ago and are unlikely to work with the latest software libraries.

Come To The Dark Or Light Side

Screen capture of techie-jim.net showing half dark mode and half light mode.

For those of you that didn't get it, yes, it's a Star Wars reference.

I wanted my site to have a design for those who want either a dark or light theme (it is automatically selected based on your OS' theme). I may add a "light switch" to flip between the light and dark modes at some point... if there is a desire for it.

Why Not Just Use WordPress?

My previous site was running on WordPress... I hated it. Being a WordPress developer for 20 years, that is some rather low praise, but it's not without reason. I used to advocate for WordPress but over the years I’ve seen just how much work people have to put into a site and not having the will to do anything more with it.

WordPress was supposed to be “easy-to-use” and so simple that anyone could use it. When it first emerged on the scene in May 2003, it was revolutionary. However, it has not kept up with the time. It also appears to have veered off the proverbial road and with thousands of trucks following, each with their own specific accelerator/brake pedal arrangement, steering wheel, and tire types (some don’t even lack wheels). They expected everyone should be able to drive any of them. Yikes.

Today, WordPress has at least 5 different block editors (including WordPress’s Gutenberg editor). The vast majority of themes now have to develop for and make use of it as well as a litany of other block editors that emerged over the years since it lacked one until Gutenberg arrived.

Each one of those editors has varying learning curves, limitations, pay walls, usage, and development roadblocks. Just attempting to work with Gutenberg is a nightmare. Attempting to select a block often results in selecting an embedded block and may cause the user to select inner elements and alter them in ways the user doesn’t expect.

The old “admin area” is also a point of contention. Its removal should have happened a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away)… or at least scaled back to only work as a vessel for global settings. There are settings duplicated and placed in areas that are confusing.

After attending various WordPress groups & meetups over the years I noticed a pattern. Nearly every meeting had WordPress users… and few or no developers. All of them were confused and in need of assistance using the interface. An interface that was supposed to be simple. This is I can’t advocate for or use WordPress any more.

Do You Recommend Switching To Jigsaw?

Unless you are a developer/programmer, HELL NO! It is difficult to set up, there is no user interface, no server processing for things like forms, and you are on your own for theming/customization. I chose it to get a site up fairly quickly, be able to deploy new posts semi-regularly, and have a fast site (you don’t get faster than static HTML… well, maybe raw text).

What Do You Recommend?

For the time being, WordPress is likely the best solution because there is not a better solution available… yet (wink). If you choose to go with one of the commercial drag-and-drop website builders, that is up to you, but I have my own reservations and issues with them as well. For now, whatever works best for your situation.