f*ck blogging platforms pt. 2

At this point I’m seriously bewildered as to how things ended up like this. Over the past week, I’ve put half-a-dozen or so hours into refurbishing my web presence. Prosaically that means: updating dead links, broken css on my homepage, refining basic theme and format on this blog, similar steps on old tumblr, and building a basic WP for a new project.

This is not a small volume of work but it shouldn’t be a substantial amount, either. The easiest part of the process has been using the cPanel HTML editor to clean up the two static pages of my personal site. Fix a few hrefs, add a div here and there.. took no more than hour to clean up 18+ months of neglect and mold. I could’ve SSH’d and used a local environment like Atom to do the edits, but fuck that, do things that don’t scale, etc… I want to move away from cPanel, perhaps to transfer to Digital Ocean Droplet running Apache (GoDaddy cPanel is $10-15/month). Then I can go back to best practices with SSH or whatever.

Next comes editing my Tumblr… Turns out I’m locked out of my Authy 2FA, well the app still runs and gives me codes for a handful of sites, but my master pass straight up does not work. Can’t be bothered to find a work around for this. I’m somewhat content to leave things to fate, but it shouldn’t be impossible, in fact it should be relatively straightforward for authy and tumblr alike to verify my real identity and grant access. All my Authy related accounts are associated with a real person… And so is my tumblr. Alas, I digress, I will let the yard grow out on this front.

Next comes building a new WP for latest venture. We score a deal on a $30/yr WP from our nameserver and I transfer an Elementor Pro license from another forgotten project. Simple enough. All we have to do is churn out a few blog posts and copy and paste some content from our old static page for the home, right? There should be easy formatting for a blogs page and individual posts, right? Nope.

Elementor, which is essentially squarespace for WP, has custom themes, which need to be tweaked with wordpress custom themes. If you finally get them to play nice, you might start editing the elementor themes, which is about squarespace level intuitive, which is to say not-at-fucking-all. After two half days we’ve got a passable post format and a site header. I’m letting my partner take the lead on building the blog page, finish the header, and home. He’s very competent and has already designed a whole range of mockup styles in XD. Yet somehow Elementor takes about as long as understrap / bootstrap when moving from prototype to MVP…

Okay, now for editing this blog. All I want to do is remove and consolidate some bells and whistles w/r/t to sharing, reblogging, etc underneath posts. Click around, google for 30 minutes, no obvious solution. I’m content to leave this to fate as well. Instead I’ve elected to write this post-mortem and send out a prayer. Should I just go back to medium? Start a new Tumblr? Substack? Why is this so hard? I’ve spent well over 100 hrs of life building and maintaining these various WPs, static sites, and tumblr. It’s becoming more apparent to me that I should invest the next 100 hrs into becoming a full stack web dev and spinning out my own thing or just revert to a platform like medium or substack. Are there easy tools to spin a blog out of a droplet? I’m seriously confused. The lion’s share of the internet runs on wordpress? Everything is held together by duct tape, I swear.