A long story about how and why I move back to WordPress after migrating to Netlify service (from WordPress), and now going back to use WordPress CMS again.

Six months ago, I decided to move my blog (this one) from WordPress to Netlify, and convert it into a barely static site. See this story for details.

Now it turns out that many things don’t work smoothly.  Although the speed of the site improved significantly on Netlify, compared to when it was still on Namecheap hosting, many other problems can’t be neglected.

1. Difficult to extend and update

Even with installing the Netlify CMS, it’s very difficult to extend the blog and update the posts regularly.

There are no drafts hence I need to keep the draft somewhere else, which adds more hassle, and more time-consuming.

Also, there is no rich text editor in place. Yes, I can set this up but unfortunately, my hours will be exhausted to figure out the techs, rather than updating the blog’s content.

2. No database

Yes, it makes the site much faster but every time I tried to update the site through the admin dashboard, it just adds another git commits on the repository.

This makes updating the content and the codes for the site itself merged into the repository.

I think it’s messy since content or data should be separated from the codes of the application.

3. Hard to customize the look

Yes, I can customize directly by changing the codes of the HTML and the CSS. But again, my hours would be burnt to do those customizations instead of writing new content for the blog.

I used Hugo along with Netlify CMS. There are indeed some Hugo themes, but installing those themes were not as easy as on installing a theme on WordPress. I can debug the problem but again, the issue here is my precious time.

On the other side, WordPress came up with a myriad of themes. Installing them just needs some seconds and some clicks on that and this, and done.

Not to mention the myriad of widgets that also helped a lot with the layout customizations.

4. Solutions for the problems which caused my move to Netlify

  • pay for a decent web host. I found the solution using the VeeroTech Micro SSD plan for $3.95 per month. So far so good.
  • pay for SSL certs. No need to pay for SSL certs. Let’s Encrypt free SSL certs works out of the box with my current WordPress host.
  • keep my WordPress version to the latest version. The hassle is much easier to keep the WordPress updated.
  • optimize it because it’s too big for a small site like mine. No need to do this anymore since it’s lightning-fast already on SSD host.
  • deal with comments and eventually, spammed comments. I just disabled the comments for everything. done
  • keep all of the plugins up to date. Still, it’s easier compared to the hassles I’ve gone through on Netlify.
  • do a lot of other works to tweak, improve, tinker, etc.. because I just love it. Lol. Just let this go for now…

5. WordPress and the plugins

Most of the customizations I wanted on WordPress can be done by installing the plugin. This saves my time a lot.

6. WordPress widget

This also helped me a lot. To show the most recent posts, the categories, tags, and also a Search box, is just as easy as dragging the widget I needed to the sidebar area.

Does this mean WordPress is better than Netlify?

No, I don’t think so.

It’s not about which one is better, but it’s about which one is more suited for your site and business needs.

The focus should not be on which one is better, but the needs for the site itself, which often changes over time, months, and years.

Netlify is fast, and very good for prototyping or building purely static site which had no need updates, and had pretty few pages (max at 5, I think).

But, when the pages of the site grew, it’s a hassle to manage all of them through Netlify CMS – at least for now.

Both of the CMS is still evolving, and who knows that Netlify may grow and add more features that I need in the future.

Conclusion so far

I prefer to pay $3.95 per month rather than burning my hours to figure out how the thing works through Netlify and its CMS.

It looks like, for the time being, WordPress is better suited for my need.

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8 thoughts on “Why I move back to WordPress”

  1. Great read. After agonising about moving from WP for months, I’ve also decided WP is better for so many things. I mean, even on Namecheap hosting its not that bad, and at least you don’t have to deal with a separate front end and back end. Also at the end of the day what are you gonna gain? A lot of the sites your site is competing against are plagued with the same problems and what’s a bit of loss in PageSpeed compared with all the hassels (and cost!) needed to acquire that extra few percent.

    1. Hi Isabella,

      Thanks for sharing your experience and opinion.

      Yes, I do agree. Unless you’re a developer who’s a performance freak, WordPress is your best bet for both time and cost.

  2. If you really want to use the static site, use cms https://getpublii.com/
    Make a review, you will love and really little work.

  3. in wordpress try to use swift plugin cache
    tutorial https://wpjohnny.com/swift-performance-wordpress-cache-plugin-unofficial-guide/

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