Static Inky Website

This site is now liberated from Wordpress

thematic image of my hatred for Wordpress

Wordpress always bothered me. Since launching in 2011, managing the Wordpress file system, themes, plugins, and MySQL database seemed like an increasingly overblown solution to host comics. My being particular about markup and styles only added more complexity. I built a static HTML site as a local guide, pasting HTML content into Wordpress fields. This occasionally caused conflicts with various extensions and updates. Wordpress also generated too much spam comments and emails.

Preferring my own code and file system, why do I need Wordpress?

I stopped single-page updates years ago. That standard web comics practice was designed for serialized stories epics or daily joke comics, not my one-and-done short stories. My audience only visited when I announced completed stories on social media (like most printed comics buyers preferring trade collections over monthly issues).

Since my technical environment was still set up for single-page updates, releasing entire stories sometimes took half a day. With everything else in my life, overhauling a fiscally unprofitable website was a low priority.

As my web developer career evolved, the technical divide between my personal websites (this one, Art of the Comic Book, and Marshall Art Studio) grew to the point where I couldn't show them on job interviews. They aren't built for mobile-first responsive environments, and their web accessibility is primitive by today's standards. They also have static CSS.

This new site was developed with Node.js, using Grunt as a Javascript task runner. This allowed to compile styles with SCSS. The mission of building as an Angular 8 webapp got stalled when I couldn't figure out the best way of presenting and serving the content. At least I can show that version as an incomplete portfolio piece.

Pasting my old content into the new environment was made faster by designing new content templates. Porting all of "Stop That Panzer Woman!" (20 pages, three cover sides, the letters page, pin-ups, and various work-in-progress pictures) only took 30 minutes. Using the same 800-pixel wide images saved a lot of time. Each story now has its own page, displaying individual comic images with a carousel. The overview content is now on the bottom of these pages.

The static page for About was even faster. Store took a few days due to overhauling the interface and replacing PayPay with Square. Manually making the links work took a day.

The blog articles really aren't blogs. I'm building them without automated tools. Formatting articles is faster than dealing with Wordpress, but miss its tags and dynamically-generated PHP index page.

So far, going static HTML only cost me search functionality. Tipue Search seems pretty good for a manually controlled client-side solution. Currently being developed.


PS: Turns out I'm not the only one who hates Wordpress with a passion. It's bloated and built for outdated web architectures. There's even an aptly named Facebook group.