Skip to content

First Astro Post

I’m working on moving PigPog from WordPress to Astro. And this is my first post written in Astro, having just got the basics up and running - admittedly, on my second attempt.


I’d seen mentions of it a couple of times, tried looking to see what it was, and decided it wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted a Static Site Generator (SSG), and it was a JavaScript Framework. I didn’t want that, I don’t want to throw lots of JavaScript at people’s browsers. But, I finally looked a bit further, and realised it actually is an SSG. Just an SSG that can also do other things. And while it works with all sorts of JS frameworks, and, technically, is one, it doesn’t, by default, send any JS to the browser.

I finally gave it a go, and things generally seemed to make more sense to me than they had in my experiments with Jekyll and Eleventy.

So Why Second Attempt?

I tried Starlight first. It’s a documentation platform based on Astro - a theme for it, maybe, or a bit more than that? And for some of what I want to do, it’s perfect. But my attempts to add blog posts and make some old posts from WordPress show up just weren’t working. I think, to be honest, a lot of that was my bad way of trying. I was taking chunks of code from blogging templates and trying to shove them into my Starlight installation without really understanding what I was doing. And that didn’t go well.

I started fresh. Twice, really, so it’s more of a third attempt, but the second attempt (I think!) was down to an old template that had some unfortunate version problems, relying on dependencies I didn’t really understand or want, overcomplicating things. I ditched that one quickly.

For this attempt, I just have the default Astro ‘blog’ template, and because I’m starting from the basics, it’s making it much easier to understand what’s going on.

Why Leave WordPress?

Isn’t WordPress fine? Yes. It is. But for a site that doesn’t make any money, it does cost a fair bit. And I didn’t find the media management to be much help when things get to a larger scale. As the storage limit starts to approach, I’d like to resize old images down a bit, but doing that would mean recreating all my photo blocks. Fine if you have a handfull of images in a few posts, but I have posts with 150+ photos.

And no, Astro doesn’t solve that problem. But that problem has made me rethink doing such photo-heavy posts in the first place, using Flickr for my photos instead. And if I’m doing that, I don’t need such a fancy blogging platform.

And the geeky side of me really loves the idea of writing locally, pushing the content to GitHub, and having my site just magically update itself.

Oh, and a static site hosted on an edge network can be really fast.

What’s Next?

I’ll continue fiddling with this, and see how it goes. The option is still there to just renew my WordPress subscription for another year and carry on. It really is fine. But if I can get this to a state where it feels like it could be home, eventually I’ll switch over my DNS, and this will become PigPog.