Back to basics

Translations: de

For years I use the popular system WordPress for my blogs. The many plugins and themes makes WordPress the first choice of many website owners. Yet WordPress is usually both too big for the need and often full of security holes.

Loading my blog alone took an unnecessarily long time because the content was always dynamically delivered to you. Content that hardly ever changed. My entries, except for minor corrections, are finished upon publication. And not interactive at all. So it's an absolute waste of resources to recreate the content on every visit. Caching is an option here, but WordPress isn't very good at that either.

My second problem is that many themes embed external content. This includes scripts for effects and fonts from Google. The latter was declared illegal a few weeks ago by the courts, rightly so, unless the visitor is asked in advance. My theme did not have a font from Google, but from another provider. The laziness of developers ends up being a disadvantage for users.

Coincidentally, I stumbled upon the website Motherfucking Website in the same week. Even though the wording is unkind, the content of the site appealed to me. In the current web, websites are often designed by marketing companies. Of course with great effects, which are realized with bloated scripts. Which of course come from some framework, which lies with external providers. So a simple news page or webshop comes to several megabytes.

So my requirements were clear: light, data saving and accessible everywhere. Many years ago I came across Pelican. A small program where you put a theme and markdown files and it generates a static website in HTML. Including feed, pages, categories and what else belongs to a blog. As a theme I took the Basic Theme, actually just a template for theme creators, and adapted it minimally. Serifless font, centered the upper part and adjusted the order a bit, done.

I now write my blogposts in Markdown and launch Pelican. I then upload the generated files to the server. There you have the web page. And it's well under 100 kilobytes, even with images. The page loads in under 0.2 seconds even on mobile devices. No matter what device, browser, or resolution. Screen reader for the blind? No problem thanks to correct formatting. Images get an alternative description for this, of course.

Data protection? Which data? Sure, the server logs which pages you visit, from which device and from where. There is no legal way around it. This is stored for 20 days, a bit longer in fully encrypted local backups. In the last ten years, I've looked at the logs twice, because someone had hacked into the server. Nothing was saved here, nothing was passed on either. Sure, you have to trust me here, but I have to. Further data is not collected. The site doesn't use cookies, contact form or comments don't exist anymore. This is what I call data saving.

I am satisfied. The look is not so modern anymore, but it fulfills its purpose more than enough. Also, I don't have to worry about data protection requirements or external dependencies anymore. The site is now fast and secure.

Stay fluffy!

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