Hello, Kirby

Over the years, I've built my personal website with pretty much every CMS tool available. I basically learned PHP with WordPress, but at a certain point, it just became too big for what I would ever need. I've used static site generators like Eleventy and Jekyll, and while they are excellent tools, they require a little too much effort to add a new post. Most recently I tried building a blog using Notion and Super — Notion is my favorite tool at work, so why not use it for my blog, too? This came with its own limitations, and ~$15/month for Super was difficult to commit to, especially when I have already paid for my own web hosting for years to come.

I don't want for much with my website; I just want somewhere to post things online. It needs to be easy, though, because sometimes I want to post from my iPad, or my phone, and I definitely don't want to have to open up terminal or an FTP application to add something to my website. There are lots of self-hosted website builders out there, but they're all either too bloated or complicated or limited or just... not nice. Or, like in the case of Pixieset, they're just too specialized — I'm not running a photography blog, and until we have RSS support and customizable blocks it's just not likely to be the right fit for me.

I was looking at CMS options and dreading what felt like the inevitable return to WordPress when I came across Kirby. It's free to use, though purchasing a license is encouraged.

If I end up sticking with it, I have no problem paying for it; the one time payment is guaranteed to work out to far less than any self-hosted, monthly option, and so far Kirby is an absolute delight. It's as powerful as WordPress, flexible, and free of all of the bloat and crap that comes along with even the most bare-bones WordPress installation. Importantly, you can customize the admin panel — which I can easily use from my iPad or phone — to making posting simple. I'm sure all of this is possible with WordPress (it seems anything is possible with WordPress) but hell if it wouldn't be the most ridiculous process. I gave WordPress a try, in good faith, a few months back, and the entire experience was somehow both convenient and nightmarish at once. Kirby is just convenient.

There are, as always, still a million things to do before my website is 'finished' by any means. Building my templates from scratch means I have to figure things out along the way, and I'm learning a lot as I go. In the meantime, though, I'm pretty happy with how things are turning out!

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