Moving to aaronschlegel.me

Hello, Everyone!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has visited my site over the years. I hope my posts have been informative and offered something unique. My joy of writing has significantly increased over the years, and I plan to produce content related to data science, mathematics, statistics and programming for many years to come!

However, while I enjoy the experience of maintaining a blog and website, I do not particularly enjoy WordPress as a platform. I initially chose WordPress as a platform to learn more about PHP and web development as I entertained the notion of being a web developer at one point in time (oh, how things change). After realizing that I do not like PHP one bit and math and stats are what really interests me, I shifted gears with the blog from its original intention as something of a self-learning platform and began using it to actually…blog. Since then, fumbling with WordPress to get it to work with LaTeX, Jupyter Notebooks, and other data sciencey (a real term) related things have been a constant chore and a distraction from writing and learning.

Due to these frustrations, I have decided to move my blog/website to aaronschlegel.me, a static site built with Pelican. There is already a decent amount of content on the site (I should have written this post a while ago), as using Pelican with some simple plugins makes writing posts with Jupyter Notebooks a thousand times easier than WordPress. This site, aaronschlegel.com, will remain for the near future; however, there likely won’t be much more content posted here going forward.

Why a static site?

There are several reasons why I decided to change to a static site generator instead of WordPress.

  • Speed

    • Because the files are all static and do not need to be part of a content management system, the pages load a lot faster in comparison with WordPress. Despite many efforts optimizing and trying all the tricks in the book to get my WordPress site running as optimally as it could, it still does not compare with the speed the static pages load.
  • Security

    • It is ridiculous how many attempted logins appear on my WordPress dashboard, even for a smaller site like mine. I’ve always been worried about my website getting hacked, and WordPress has been known for its many security vulnerabilities. A good number of the exploits involve the CMS and database of the WordPress installation, which is not a concern with a static site. Of course, a static website is not immune to being hacked or exploited, but it removes several of the potential ways someone could exploit the site.
  • Workflow

    • I mainly write my posts in a Jupyter Notebook or Markdown and variants such as RMarkdown, and while the R package knitr alleviated some of the difficulty, it still required a script to convert the RMarkdown file into an HTML file that preserves the code outputs and formatting. The best I could find for working with Jupyter Notebooks on WordPress is exporting the notebook as HTML and placing it in an IFrame. So yeah, pretty bad. With Pelican and the pelican-ipynb and rmd-reader plugins, all of that is a thing of the past, and I can now focus on writing and working on other things rather than having to deal with converting the original format into something that works with WordPress.

Some New Content on the New Site

Here’s some of the recent content that I’ve posted to aaronschlegel.me.

Conclusion

Again, thank you so much for visiting my site, and I hope you have benefited in some way by reading my articles. I love to produce content related to stats, math, and data science as I have learned so much from others doing the same, although I am moving to a different website, I will continue to write articles for as long as possible!

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