Why a Statically Generated Site

Initially when I decided to start this blog I started with what I already had a WordPress blog. Wordpress had served me well in the past, especially when I had a more limited programming background. Given the needs of this blog however, a Statically Generated Site, turned out to be a better choice.

Syntax Highlighting

Wordpress syntax highlighting was ok, but not the best. Given that there would be a lot of code on this blog this was a huge knock against the WordPress environment

Difficulty in supporting Javascript/D3

There is a plugin to support d3 in Wordpress but its docs only list 3.3, and given that 3.5 has been around for a while, and that 4.0 just got released, it was evident that trying to embedded visualizations or javascript programs into the blog wouldn't be straightforward

Latex support is limited

It seems that in WordPress all Latex equations have to be rendered as images in formats such as png or svg. While this is fine for displaying the equation it would be a pain for any reader that is trying to copy the content of the page. While this limitation wasn't a dealbreaker it compounded my WordPress dislike.

Lots and lots of overhead (Mentally and Computationally)

WordPress is built on PHP and MySql and lots of HTML and CSS. It requires a backend to function. Even after all the setup it becomes cumbersome to modify extensively, and to write posts I would have to go into a WebGUI and figure out what buttons do what. When adding additional plugins to do syntax highlighting and additional javascript it would become even more difficult to modify layouts and figure out how to make things work

Additionally it would be a lot more work if I moved hosting services and always be worried about updates and security

I already have enough to learn

Given that I'm trying to learn more about Data Science, it just made more sense to pick a SSG using a Python based generator. This means I could stay in the same software stack I use for Data Science and continually learn about those things, rather than have to struggle with learning how WordPress works

Briefly listed here are the tools used to maintain this blog now

SSGs just make sense for a DS focused blog

In summary due to the programming/stat it just made sense to work with something that had minimal overhead of use, used the same toolsets, and could render all the visualizations, math, and code nicely

Others opinions

In part I made my final choice based on the positive experiences of others as well. Here are some links to their opinions

http://bdadam.com/blog/why-i-chose-a-statically-generated-website.html http://duncanlock.net/blog/2013/05/17/how-i-built-this-website-using-pelican-part-1-setup/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/11/modern-static-website-generators-next-big-thing/