I have this wordpress blog running since 2016 – that is more than 5 years now. When I started this blog – like every new blogger I just started a new blog on a free wordpress plan and kept it that way for another 2 years. It was sometime in 2019 if I remember correctly that I got a premium plan and a domain name (I just kept the same old domain name – just got rid of .wordpress.com) – so my blog went from being hosted at thegeeksdiary.wordpress.com to be hosted at thegeeksdiary.com. Today I transferred this domain to another registrar (GoDaddy) to be able to host my blog myself and turn it into something better. There are several things which I did not like about wordpress and I will list some them in this blog post but in general I am not happy about the lack of freedom.
To be honest I am not a frequent blogger and up until this point wordpress has served me well for my blogging needs. With premium plan it also gave me the option to monetize this blog but honestly – I don’t get a lot of traffic on my blog to generate any revenue. In terms of the feature support that I received from wordpress is good and I can’t complain about much given the fact I did not write a single line of code and got a readymade platform for sharing my ideas and experiences.
So why did I decide to leave wordpress and build a separate ecosystem for my blogging journey – in 1 word – Control – with wordpress I found myself not motivated enough to write anymore. I wanted to share my blogs through my personal website as well – www.pradeep.vip – I tried to enable the REST API but WordPress is forcing me to buy a business plan with a considerable subscription amount which I am not interested in paying knowing the fact that WordPress doesn’t allow me to even migrate my content properly without paying for the business plan.
As engineers we like to own our systems and have control over the IP and stuff that we create. WordPress won’t let me list my latest blogs on my personal website without paying for a business subscription. I am anyways rewriting my personal website as well so I will use a decoupled CMS like Ghost or Orchard Core and then build a custom frontend for my Blog to align more closely with my personal brand theme.
Okay so what is my plan – I have transferred the domain for this blog to GoDaddy and my plan is to first host a decoupled CMS on AWS or Azure. Once the Decoupled CMS backend is ready – I will migrate all my content from WordPress to the new CMS – I can download the messy XML from WordPress and build a custom tool to ingest that into my new CMS. This way at the end I will have all the data in a database that I own and control – all my images and media will also be on my infrastructure. Finally I will build a custom frontend to render my blog posts.
As I do so I will add posts here as I go on this journey and I expect this to take a bit as I will do over weekends which anyways are super packed with other personal projects. Anyways I have taken the first step and I look forward to taking back the control.