Paul Mestemaker
Published on

The Great Blog Revamp of 2022


Holy cow. I haven't updated this site in a long time. But it's going through a revamp in 2022.

Why now?

Well, I've been writing a lot more in other forums for the past couple of years. Journaling. Highlights & recaps from poker nights and disc golf. Writing a lot more for my role as a founder.

What has held me back from publishing?

Well, for the record, I do have about 40 draft posts circa 2012 - 2016. Many of which are just outlines. A lot that had technical content that needed just a bit more refinement. Some were pretty funny, though not that useful. But all of them were stuck in drafts because of some self-limiting-belief that I couldn't publish something unless it was truly unique or valuable.

I forced myself to publish a few less than quality posts as I was practicing A/B tests, conversion funnels, or new analytics packages. But then even my drafts became few and far between.

One day I signed in to my WordPress site, and it was effectively in a read only mode because every time I tried to create or modify a post, a cryptic WordPress error popped up. Each time I would try to diagnose the problem and I would get a little farther but then another problem would crop up... and then I would run out of time and have to go adult somewhere else.

Why not scrap the site?

Well, there's a decent amount of backlinks to my site, so I'm reluctant to migrate off of WordPress until I have a plan in place to preserve all the content. So naturally I decided to export the data. Great, I got some xml... and some PHP... and a MySQL dump. But then I'd have to load it into another CMS... which turned into researching other CMSes... but now that I'm super comfortable building web-apps in TypeScript and React I thought a headless CMS would be a good option. That then turned into static site generator research. And each time I'd have a couple of hours free on the weekend, it would turn into yak-shaving the infrastructure of even having a platform to publish my thoughts.

I had a very custom site with all sorts of bespoke PHP and theme overrides made by a comedian friend of mine in 2011. These customizations are ultimately what broke when WordPress and PHP were updated. So I just removed as much of the customization as I could find from over the years and now have a plain Twenty Twenty Two theme. But at least now I can publish my words when I have 30 minutes free to write something! So at this point I've come to terms that WordPress and I will just have a love/hate relationship and that will be just fine.