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Why I'm starting my blog with plain old static html

I had been working on setting up my blog using Hugo which is a very well made static site generator used by a great deal of blogs and micro sites.

Well this morning I woke up and deleted the whole repository...

Removing all files from git

Why did I do that?

To understand the reason, we should first begin with my core purposes of beginning a blog.

Why am I creating a blog?

Just as most people, I would like to write about the work that I do and by doing so, gather feedback both externally and through my own observations.

To gain some more context, let's have a look at some facts:

  1. I am a nobody
  2. I don't have a following
  3. I am well versed in creating and maintaining anything web

From this we can clearly pick out a distinct problem set to solve.

What is my problem?

...What is your problem?

I identify anything that prevents me from moving forward as a problem.

It's very important to identify what your main problem is before you start something. You should attack the hardest problem first, because this is the issue that is most critical to your success. Without it, nothing will materialise. You can have the best entertainment system onboard your aircraft, but it doesn't mean shit if it can't fly!

The problem I am trying to solve is I struggle to put pen to paper, or rather finger to keyboard... button press to word... whatever.

Why is that?

A great example of this is the previous blog I made around my learning of the Chinese language. It went something like this:

- I'm going to need some software to make my life easier
- Find static site generator "Jekyll"
- Oh this pretty cool, let's see what this can do
- *Adds a theme*
- Don't like the way this looks
- *Modifies the theme*
- AMP is all the hype these days isn't? Gonna need AMP or I won't be getting traffics
- *Adds AMP*
- I need to engage with my users oooh
- *Adds subscription form*
- Hmm this won't work too well with AMP
- *Implements changes so it works on AMP*
- Wouldn't it be really convenient if i abstracted this out into a reusable template
- *template*

I was really happy with the result, I had a static generating site fully in AMP with share capability and a subscription form and I even liked the look of it!

The result? You guessed it! 2 Posts, 0 users. That subscribe form really gave me the edge didn't it! hoh!

The point is, yes I'm obsessed with software, but sometimes it's more important to focus on what it is that you are really trying to do. Trying to work technology into everything for the sake of it is going to leave you frustrated.

So how exactly does a plain static site solve this problem?

There should be one and only focus which was identified, that is "Pen to paper" and by removing every other distraction, I'm able to work towards my goal quicker.

Notice the following about this blog:

No frameworks

What am I exactly trying to solve with that? Speeding up the hundreds of blog posts I write?

About and Contact page is 404?????

So I just started my blog but that first post is going to be so good that by tomorrow morning, i'll have the big4 knockin on my door!

I left a single link to twitter in the footer incase someone is desperate - time investment - 10s

Style so 1995

The CSS file is empty. I shouldn't even have to explain myself here. What do I actually get from the theme ? I have no following, no brand, am I trying to manufacture one to make up for my awful content?

Also, browsers have a surprisingly good default style. You should know, you got this far!

No RSS, robots, sitemap

Most frameworks come with these. I mean what... for a total of 2 pages?? Oh poor Google's going to have a real hard time finding my page :((.


By solving my hardest problem first, I am making definite progress. I separate myself from doing purely what I'm interested in and instead get closer to what needs improvement. Scaling and branding can be solved when they become a problem.

The beauty of this is that as my content evolves, I can build up my blog around it. So I'll add some rough goals for myself*:

3 Posts Fill some basic details on about and contact
5 Posts Add minimal styles to main.css
8 Posts Let people comment
10 Posts (Will I get this far?) Introduce some templating to make future posts simpler to write

* I may or may not cheat these goals by creating coherent short blog posts

Thanks for reading!