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Why I gave up on Wordpress (And what I switched to)

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Hello, my name is Chris.

I was a WordPress user from ~2009 to 2020.

But now, I have largely given up using WordPress on my own sites.

Why?

Well, out of the box, the page speed scores sucked.

The site speed sucked.

In fact, almost everything about WordPress…sucked.

I’ll admit that much of my WordPress bad experience was self-inflicted. I wanted to install ALL the things. Also, I had a rubbish host.

I installed too many plugins.

And when it came to writing, I hated using the HTML editor.

Even if you wanted to use the “classic editor”, you had to install another bloody plugin.

Jesus.

It’s almost as if they tried to design everything to be as difficult as possible.

These are just a few of my grievances with WordPress.

Fast forward to today.

I’m proud to say that I have been WordPress-free for almost two years.

So what did I switch to?

Hugo, Forestry.io and hosted on Github—all for free.

“What the hell is Hugo?” I hear you say.

My response: Google it.

Tip: It’s not the Hugo Boss site.

But if you want to get decent performance scores like this, and host your site for free, then you too can ditch WordPress and join the static site revolution.

pagespeed-insights-performance-score-100-flex
My PageSpeed Insights Flex

And here’s the GT Metrix score.

gt-metrix-performance-score-chrishaines-uk
Not bad.

Ok, we are getting sidetracked.

Let’s get back to why I hate WordPress in a little bit more detail…

Why I hate WordPress #

  • Okay, so you can get great performance from a WordPress site, but getting the right plugins often takes a lot of effort, knowledge, or money.
  • Plugins—Unless you can code, you will need a lot of plugins for everything. This bloats the CMS and can cause issues.
  • Ever had your WordPress account hacked? I have—I used to use a plugin called Wordfence to stop that from happening, but again adding more plugins slows everything down.
  • Want to get great Core Web Vitals scores—yeah, me too. That’s what Google wants us to do, right? It takes effort with WordPress, and even if you find a template you like, it may not be SEO optimized out of the box.
  • Installed a bad plugin by mistake? Oh, whoops, your site is now down, and you will have to jump into the host to fix it. Lost the password? don’t worry you can get it back, but you just have to complete a quick identity verification.
  • Updates. Had your WordPress site live for more than a few hours? Chances are you will probably need to update those 30 plugins you installed and also update to a new version of WordPress because the old one is just so lame now.

Sidenote: I don’t really hate WordPress, but I wanted to point out some of the issues that have frustrated me over the years with the platform. Also wanted to flex on my new PageSpeed Insights score.