New VIGoV website - Farewell to Wordpress!

Wow, everything's suddenly looking very different, isn't it? Well, the reason for that is that I've done something I've been meaning to do for a long time: I've ditched Wordpress!

Now don't get me wrong, Wordpress is a fine platform, but it's not really suitable for a site like this, which, as I'm sure you've noticed, is rarely updated! Having loads of bells and whistles that I never really needed, Wordpress is a behemoth of an application. It's written in PHP, and probably opened up loads of vulnerabilities on my server that just didn't need to be open. Wordpress blogs also serve cookies, which has become legally awkward in recent years.

So, wanting to decrease my attack surface, both to crackers and lawyers, I took some inspiration from the author of my browser of choice, who has his own blog. In the first post, he mentioned that he used the Pelican software for generating the blog. This software generates a static site, so the server doesn't have to execute loads of code every time you request a page. In fact, the pages themselves are static HTML, so neither does your computer! No cookies either, since there's no reason to have anyone logged in or anything like that.

So, a few months ago, I installed Pelican on my PC and ran a script to convert exported Wordpress posts to ReStructuredText suitable for use with it. However, I didn't have time to fix them up properly until this week. Now that that's done I'm writing my own ReST, for the first time, in the form of this inaugural post! As for links to pages on the old blog, well, I've spent some time wrestling with Apache's mod_rewrite to make sure that they redirect to the correct pages on this new blog.

You may also be interested to know that this new blog is now being served over a fibre broadband connection! Just today my broadband was upgraded from ADSL to VDSL, giving an order-of-magnitude speed boost. In order to continue serving this site, using port-forwarding, I need to use a third-party router. This is because the router supplied by my ISP doesn't do port-forwarding for some reason. So I spent quite a bit of time wrestling with that as well today, because it wasn't obvious how to set up an ASUS router correctly with this connection. I managed it eventually though.

With all this wrestling, one could be forgiven for thinking that all this tech stuff is bad for my health. Well, maybe it is, but apparently technology isn't all bad. I did come across a post on another blog about ways in which technology can improve health. I certainly feel healthier not to be serving unneeded JS and cookies anymore, so there's that!