We recently migrated the Fanout Blog from WordPress to Jekyll, and we updated the blog theme to match the newer Fanout website design.

The blog content is all the same, and Livefyre commenting is still here as well as RSS/Atom feeds and the SubToMe buttons. The reason for the migration (and thus the differences) are mostly internal:

  • Source content is plain text: We love Git, and being able to use text files for the blog means the blog can live in Git which is awesome.
  • Easier to maintain posts that contain code blocks: Jekyll’s primary compose format is Markdown and it has great syntax highlighting. Working with code blocks in WordPress was a battle for us at times (Note: there are Markdown plugins for WordPress which may alleviate this. We didn’t try them.)
  • Can cloud host: WordPress cloud services (like WordPress.com) limit the available plugins, and such a transition might have required losing our commenting system for example. WordPress VIP provides more freedom, that felt like overkill for us. With Jekyll we were able to keep the functionality we needed, and host on GitHub Pages.

The one downside is that the blog no longer supports Pingbacks. This is a problem with any static system. Most of the Pingbacks we received were spam so this is not overly concerning.