I plan to write a multi-post series as I have lots of notes on how I went about it. There are still some CSS polishing required. But overall, the site is ready. This part has loads of rambling, so feel free to skip it.
Why do I use SSGs? - A history.
The Backend CMS
I started with markdown files, moved to Contentful, finally settling on WordPress. I love writing in markdown. My Hugo blog is entirely in markdown as there is no other option. For the current site, I had the following requirements. These are solely my requirements. YMMV.
- Markdown Support - Contentful has native Markdown support. WordPress requires a plugin. Advantage Contentful.
- Image Management - I didn’t want to check-in images to my repository. Also, I wanted automatic resizing wherever necessary. Netlify has support via Large Media. But I did not want to add LFS support. In case I decide to leave Netlify, I wanted the images resized with me. I considered Cloudinary too who have a generous free plan. But I did not want to add another provider. Contentful has automatic image management, which is fantastic. WordPress has Media Management and image resizing options via the plugin system. Advantage WordPress and Contentful.
- Metadata for Images - Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin for WordPress quickly add custom fields, and metadata support to posts, pages and images. Contentful only allows adding title, description and alt text. We need to create a separate content type for images and add extra fields. Advantage WordPress.
- Categorization - Contentful supports categories and tags but in a round-about way. Everything needs to have a separate content type. WordPress has in-built support. Just type and press enter. Advantage WordPress.
- Post Series Support - This is slightly difficult in Contentful and easier in WordPress. In Contentful, you can create references to other posts and then can link them in HTML. WordPress too does not support this natively. But it is easier (for me) using custom taxonomies. Tie between WordPress and Contentful.
Considering the above requirements, WordPress was a better fit for me. However, I loved Contentful. Its interface is a beauty. Their free plan, their image support and no need to manage installations make it an excellent CMS. I also considered Ghost. But they have no image resize support yet, so it was out.
Finally, I write my posts in markdown. I manage these in a private repository so that I never lose them if my WordPress installation gets corrupted.
I know that was loads of rambling. In the next part, I will write about my WordPress setup and finally begin the finale - Gatsby integration. What do you use for your website?