/ Chinmay Shaligram / blog

The long and winding road

May 17, 2019

After years of experimenting with different platforms, I’ve finally settled down on Hugo for the forseeable future. I’ve always been on the lookout for the perfect platform to blog where I do not have to think about anything but content. At the same time, I wanted something that gave me a sense of control over my website. The only way to go about doing that is if I build a website from scratch. This is where Hugo comes into the picture.

Circa 2006, the internet was a fantastic place to be. Social media was still a new thing and bulletin boards ruled the roost. I was an active member of one such bulletin board, a community of players for a text-based MMORPG I used to play. I’ve made a few friends on that board, and one of them introduced me to Wordpress. I was instantly hooked. Wordpress was a breeze to use, I could see stats about how my posts were performing and even got actual feedback in the comments from some strangers on the internet. I was in love.

Years passed, and I started to get tired of Wordpress. The honeymoon was over and the cracks began to show. Wordpress was clunky. It was restricting. Changing any bit of the way my website looked was a chore and it was built in PHP, for crying out loud! Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with PHP per se. It’s one of the few languages I know how to write- or at least debug. But the world was moving towards Angular and React and Python and Ruby and I wanted something new. Something fresh. So I switched to Ghost.

I didn’t like Ghost and didn’t last long there. By this time, I’d decided to forget about the language and just worry about exposure. I wanted more people to read my stuff. I already had a medium account, so I just hooked it up to my domain and started writing. I gained some mediocre success but it dawned upon me that the more I wrote on Medium, the more I content I gave them. I was gaining squat. That’s when I stepped out of Medium and went back to Wordpress with a low head. There I stayed until now.

Around last year, I first discovered Hugo. Static sites were a fascinating thing. The speed, the community. Markdown. I wanted in. I also discovered Netlify and decided I really wanted in. After all the wandering, the struggling, the unhappiness,I’ve found my Mecca.

Starting May 2019, this is my new home.