One of the first open source projects I ever started hacking on was the Drupal content management system. Written in PHP and with a very active community online, it was the perfect to feel my way around open source development and management practices, as well as get something useful out of it – I wrote quite a few plugins that way, and spent hours developing prototypes of viksit.com, focusing on themes and other snazzy functionality that I’d always wanted – tag clouds, bookmarks integration, recently “read”, et al. Looking back on those times, I’m really intrigued by how my perspective on blogging prioritized having a website that impressed people, as opposed to the impact coming from the content it hosted. I dare say a few years through life have cleared some of those misconceptions.
It is thus with a twinge of nostalgia that I write this post on a brand new platform that now powers this site. Drupal is out and WordPress is in. The last update to this site was in 2007 or 2008, where I installed the then current version of Drupal on it. Over the years, the community has released newer versions that offer excellent new functionality and better themes, but somehow my main issue has been the amount of effort it takes to keep the site up and running. Installing updates to core has been a fairly manual process, as have updates to themes and plugins. It seemed that most of my time was going away in maintaining the site and its customizations rather than on writing content.
When I looked around for alternatives, WordPress seemed the clear winner on many counts, but the most important one was its purely UI driven update and plugin/theme install process. And that was such a win in my head that after considering a migration for a long time (almost a year), I finally bit the bullet and completed it yesterday. And I must say, I’ve been pretty happy with the results.
My main issue was still with the set of themes available out there – since I’m in no position to spend upwards of $40 on themes, and what I really wanted was one that offered a clean layout with focus on the content (hello medium.com!), I decided to hack one up on my own. The results are what you see here today. If I can, I’ll try to release this theme on github after polishing a number of things out.
I’ll definitely miss Drupal as a CMS going forward – there were a number of great things about it that I haven’t yet discovered on WordPress, and knowing its code inside-out had its advantages. But I figured I’d give this a shot and see how it turns out. If you have any feedback on the design or other aspects of the site, do leave a comment!