Words meet tech

It was Christmas Eve and I wanted to cry.

Yet again, my WordPress site was driving me nuts. My new theme, Avada, was turning out to be a bloated mess. Everyone had given it high praise, but I was unimpressed.

All I’d wanted to do was to add a large image header with a text overlay to the front page of my site. But no, not in Avada. It seemed the only way to do this was by using sliders. These dreaded Javascript heavy things slow down page loading time and cause problems for the whole site.

I didn’t see any other way to get the job done, short of coding the whole thing by myself. So I begrudgingly created a slider for each page. They looked pretty good once I’d got them up there. But when I tested the site speed I was appalled to see how long it took to load.

I had to take action. I ran a few tweaks to improve the speed. Just when I thought it was working - boom! The front page of my site had suddenly turned into garbage text. GRR!

That was it. I slammed the laptop shut and took a few deep breaths…

My disillusionment with WordPress had been growing for a while. I liked the look and feel of the platform. It has amazing capabilities and can handle almost any type of website need. But third-party themes and plugins are often problematic. And the admin panel of WordPress is sluggish and kind of ugly. There had to be another solution out there.

When I found out about Jekyll I was instantly intrigued.A lightweight speedy blogging platform written in Markdown and hosted on GitHub (for free)? It sounded great. No more dealing with annoyances such as hosts, servers, FTP, databases, or those pesky themes and plugins!

Check out how fast this site can switch from one page to another. It’s like a breath of fresh air! In my nest post I’m going to share the resources that helped me to get Jekyll working.

It’s a bit of a learning curve, involving setting up a Ruby environment, using the Terminal, and pushing code to github. This can be scary for wannabe and semi-wannabe techies like me.

But if you get past the scary stuff you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s actually quite straightforward. You’ll feel a real sense of achievement when you get this blazing fast site up and running.

Click here to view my Jekyll repo on GitHub