DIY for Introspection


Tags Web Development

Building my own blog has allowed me to think a lot about blogging features I might have taken for granted on a Wordpress site. Now that I have to build those things myself I take time to stop and think about what exactly any given feature does and if it truly adds value.

For example, I wanted an archive calendar simply because I wanted one, they’re on ElJay, Wordpress, etc. It would take Actual Work to implement it in Hugo, so I started thinking about why I wanted a calendar. I don’t actually have a good reason. It doesn’t matter how often I post or when. The calendar was just legacy cruft, a thing from past blogging platforms I was used to, and not something that has real value to me.

I had a similar experience when I was sorting out pagination. Vertical space is infinite in a webpage. Pagination can help organize content, but commonly it’s used arbitrarily or for some reason that runs counter to the reader’s needs (e.g. to serve more ads). I figured I would need, at most, annual archive pages for the microblog, the rest could just be a list of titles stretching into infinity since the site is mostly text.

I thought about adding a search function then realized categories and tags, when used properly and consistently, are one of the best organization features you can have. If I tag well I don’t need a site search. You remember the Beatles song, right? Tags are all you need.