It's all good.
But one thing I'm mulling over is the CMS I chose. As I have expressed earlier, I'm no fan of WordPress. Slow, not fun to template, et cetera. I haven't mentioned it by name before, but I guess no need to be cagey; the CMS I'm using is called Joomla. It's an open source PHP "blogging" alternative to WordPress & Drupal. The one no really talks about. More than WordPress, for me it works a little more naturally to sites that aren't blogs.1 (Conversely, as a straight up blogging platform it's a little lacking out of the box.) When I was an independent webmaster (over a decade ago) and needed to spin up small sites that were straight forward to design for and build, Joomla was my go-to. One had to bend WordPress in some ways it wasn't entirely designed to work to make a portfolio site or a small business site. Joomla lends itself pretty easily to this once you get your mind around how it works. And so when I wanted to spin up a blog quick I figured it was a good choice. And in general I've been happy.
Building all this on a 3rd tier CMS platform seems perhaps short-sighted. I mean, if I just want a place to write and revise my thoughts for whomever may find it, sure. I can tangle with the taxonomy of how you structure the site, but it's nothing I can't work with. But as my esteemed co-admin texted me after reading a post "I wish there were a way I could like or respond."
Sure, I could install comments easy enough. But unless I'm just leaving them open this would mean I needed to get people to log in. For the most part people are sick of signing up to sites. So I could use an extension to allow for Facebook, Google, Twitter login but, nope, not touching that for a part time hobby project. And moral objections.
If I could just integrate with the Fediverse. Someone could boost my post. A response on Mastodon would be a comment on my blog.
This week there was "big" news: Automattic, the company the oversees WordPress, officially brought in house a WordPress plugin that ingrates a WordPress site with the Fediverse via Activity Pub.2 Pretty soon all WordPress sites will be able to interface with the Fediverse.
As near as I can tell there is no formal plan for Joomla, or even any real discussion about it. A couple of Joomla independent developers are writing some about it, but no plug 'n' play integration, nothing on the roadmap. If you want to read me getting real "inside baseball" about it I wrote about it on the Joomla forums. But suffice to say unless Joomla steps up it's going to get even more marginalized.
What does this mean for me in the here and now? Well, I didn't really start this endeavor to do serious website development in my spare time. I just want a place to write. But the further I get into this blog, the more posts will need to be ported over to the platform were I to switch. With that in mind, I thought I would give WordPress and this new plugin a whirl. So far, initial explorations have been less than thrilling. It's put a damper on my enthusiasm. Still don't love WordPress, and it seems to have gone some weird places in its effort to be all things to all folks.3 And my first pass at using that Activity Pub plugin did not work. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I don't have any real answers at this point. I'll keep writing, expanding on my Mastodon posts. If people want to respond, they can always do so over there I guess. I'll create a contact form to encourage "letters from the editor". I'll give WordPress another spin. Perhaps I'll try to spin up some integration for this platform. I suppose I could look at a different CMS altogether, but it has to be self-hosted, and code I can parse even if just as a dilettante.
I definitely welcome any thoughts about any of this.
1 I don't have any firsthand experience working with Drupal.
2 This is a pretty good exploration of what the purchase could mean exactly.
3 It is easy enough to get back to a classic WordPress environment.