In July I replaced Wordpress with Octopress, here and at KandyFangs.com. After five months I’m quite happy with the change. I had been using Wordpress since 2009 which replaced my static website. It was nice for blogging, made other pages easier to edit on the fly, and was fairly speedy back in the day. Recently Wordpress has become slow and has attracted the attention of bot attacks consuming more of my time with security. Most of all, though, I wasn’t happy with the slow page loading for a site that’s nearly static. I’m still maintaining a Wordpress at DeesDanceDesign.com, but that may change soon.
Top Reasons I Replaced Wordpress
- Way too slow. Pages need to load within a couple seconds for best reader experience.
- Frequent attacks targeting Wordpress.
- Was spending too much time with updates and security instead of creating content.
My Wordpress Setup
My setup was self-hosted on a shared server impacting my experience compared to Wordpress.com hosting or another server. I tried to keep plugins to a mininum as listed here.
- All-in-One WP Security is great at setting up a variety of security measures and identifying some threats.
- Akismet for spam.
- Jetpack by Wordpress.com for share buttons, form sheet, and stats. Most everything else turned off. Jetpack includes many features found with a Wordpress-hosted site, but may slow your self-hosted site down as it needs to contact Wordpress.com depending on which features are enabled.
- Hyper Cache for faster repeated page loading. I had also used another cache in the past.
Octopress is a content management system that generates static pages which I preview on my development machine before copying to the server. I write posts and pages in markdown which is faster than writing in HTML and easier for a human to read. The downside is no available super-slick manager; some technical skills required including knowledge of using command-line tools. Great for developers, not so nice for everyone else. I also created my own theme, Storyteller, for improved creating and reading of serialized posts.
Static pages load fast, and without a database or multple PHP files, there are fewer attack vectors on the site. No database also means depending on hosted comments, such as Disqus, and hosted forms, such as Wufoo, both which integrate nicely with Octopress.
Overall, I enjoy Octopress and love my speedy sites.