Migration from the Wordpress to the own Ruby blogging engine - pros and cons

summary after 8 months

After 6 months of blogging using the Wordpress engine, I decided to switch to my own Ruby blogging engine that I created from scratch. This decision has many advantages and disadvantages so I want to share my experiences in case you will be wondering in the future what solution for blogging you should use.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of migration from the Wordpress to the Ruby app is an opportunity to grow as a Ruby developer. From now on I have a full control over everything, from the server configuration to the source code of the app.

Other important advantages for me:

  • I’m proud of myself - I thought that the fact that I’m the Ruby dev and I have a blog built on PHP sucks. While many years ago I started programming journey from the PHP language, now I wanted to fully dedicate every part of my IT career to the Ruby and the blog was the last missing piece.
  • Full control - Although I have some experience with PHP, I haven’t written a single line of code for last 8 years so I can’t imagine myself updating the theme or modifying any part of my blog from the code perspective. It would be possible for me but it won’t give me a joy. With Ruby, I have many plans regarding new features I want to add to the app or places in which I can improve.
  • The application tailored to my needs - I don’t need any fancy features right now. I don’t need to change themes or allow users to sign up. With the Ruby app, I have only those features I really need - I can focus on things that matter.
  • Outside of the comfort zone - Using own blogging engine forces me to step to the next level of my developer skills. I have to take care of everything. If I’m not good at one of the development or deploy process parts then I have to improve my skills, learn new things.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage for me is the fact that I now spend less time on writing and more on the development process. It’s a disadvantage in the matter of my writing skills and blog popularity. Back then it was easier to just sit down, write an article and hit the publish button without worrying about anything else.

  • Bigger costs - I pay now 9 times more for the server than I paid before. Using Wordpress I need a really small server and it costs me around 10$ per year. Now I’m using https://scalingo.com because I really love it but the cost is higher. Just saying.
  • Goodbye SEO - I’m not really good at SEO rules. I’m learning them now. Before it was as simple as installing the Yoast gem and following the rules displaying on the screen. My blog will hurt because of this but my future projects will not (that’s why I’m considering this as a disadvantage right now)
  • More than just a writing - I used to not care about the errors or technical aspects of my blog because I didn’t have to. I was singing into my dashboard, writing an article, uploading a photo and ready. Now, each time I write I find something that I can improve - my issues list on the Github for this project is still growing which is a little bit annoying.
  • Migration process - it is always hard to make things looks the same after the migration process. It’s a time-consuming thing and I miss a few things that Rollbar is reminding me about all the time (for example the RSS feed). But the most important part, the URL’s structure, is the same.

Conclusion

I mentioned the same number of advantages as disadvantages but it does mean anything. It’s more related to your mindset. If you want just to focus on writing not the development process this time, I highly recommend Wordpress or maybe Jekyll / Refinery CMS if you don’t want to betray Ruby. If you like to step outside your comfort zone each time you hit the publish button and you enjoy never-ending improving process then building own Ruby blog engine is an option for you.

I didn’t regret my decision, it’s harder now but I learn a lot and this is the most important goal for me. I set up this blog to learn and after migration, I just turn on the turbo.

Plans for the future

As I said before, having own Ruby blogging engine is a never-ending improving process unless you are satisfied with the solution you have. I’m not so I’m going to work on this a little bit more. I need to fix dates for the past articles migrated from the Wordpress and SEO needs to be improved, especially images.

It will be nice to have the comments section and provide an RSS feed so I’m definitely going to think about it.

If you have any questions or you want to share your experiences, please hit me on Twitter!