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.
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.