WordPress → Calypso


When I first switched to WordPress (from Blogger) I was blown away by the functional breadth that their platform provided. Anything you couldn’t find as a “plugin” you could extend relatively easily with PHP. That was then, this is now.

The Performance Problem

The idea that lots of little 3rd party modules written by small 1 or 2 person shops (obviously some plugins are larger) and then just configured together lends itself to performance problems and yet WordPress struggled valiantly to solve that problem. The problem is that our expectations changed. Today we have frameworks like Ember, Angular, and React which help to make the user experience many times faster. Furthermore asynchronous backends powered by NodeJS or other more modern technology just completely outperforms the PHP architecture.

The PHP Problem

PHP in some ways has re-invigorated with PHP7 but it’s probably too late to save a drowning ship. PHP just isn’t a “respected” language in Western markets and it’s big advantage in recent years was the vast number of people who had skills in PHP. The numbers were always a bit misleading: though there were many there was a very bad signal-to-noise ratio within this group. More importantly, the reason for the large number had less to do with the age of the language and far more to do with two key aspects:

  • The default “hosting stack” provided you PHP to do your work in
  • WordPress uses PHP

The “stacks” that developers have available to self-host has blossomed both in number and choice over the past 5 years and PHP no longer is sole heir to the personal blog. And, of course, the other leg on that table was WordPress. Gone too. PHP had a good run but its days are numbered now.

My Personal Strategy

I had felt for a long time I needed to move off of WordPress and move toward Ghost (or at least a JS-based platform) but I was waiting for their API and 3rd party tools to increase a little. Now I’m a little unsure.  Fortunately, my own personal inertia will likely allow me to solve this problem a few months from now so there should be more data on Calypso at that point but if they can give good SEO along with a modern API and performance they’d be a hard platform to beat.

If I were Ghost I’d be very worried. I hope there’s room for both. Even if you’re someone like SquareSpace I suspect you’re going to be a little sweaty today.

Article References

Side Note

I’ve been waiting for an hour now to publish this because the drafts saves stopped working. I’m guessing WordPress may be getting a spike in traffic today :)

Undue Absence

Been bad at posting regularly so this will be a short one to get back in the flow … sick as a dog at the moment so using it as an excuse to watch more movies than normal (normally I do not watch movies). So far I’ve seen Divergent (Insurgent is next), and the first three Hunger Games movies. Liked them all. Hate this cold.

Over and out.  

Running again

Well after a weeks rest I’m flying again and again a running event features. This time it’s the Napa Ragnar with much of the same team from last year’s Portland Ragnar.

Off to NYC

Kabuki and I head to NYC this morning for the Brooklyn 1/2 marathon. Looking forward to it even if my cardio fitness is a bit down from where it was.

Being a Designer is not …

I recently ran a contest on Freelancer.com for a new logo for my company. The results were shocking and by shocking I mean terrible. This experience has led me to come up with a short list of things that does not qualify you as a designer:

  • Putting the client’s logo onto a picture of a teeshirt,  a business card, a screen, or any other surface. 
  • Adding a “premium font” and typing the client’s name with it
  • Showing off your composition skills by taking stock clipart and putting it next to a font you had on your system
  • Sending some unrecognizable shape and passing it off as a logo (or artwork) without any explanation
  • Having a friend show you how to change the client’s logo using Photoshop and then passing a colorized version of the client’s logo as a fresh new design

I’m sure there’s more but I still am without a new logo so it’s time for me to go back to work.