Why Grav?

A New CMS Experience

Bloggin background

Bringing the blog back online by biggest concern was the platform I was going to use to host my content. Since I started bloging originally in 2012 so family could follow along my travels at the time there has been a lot of change in the number and types of CMS and blogging platforms. Initially I used Wordpress due to its size, ease of install from many hosting services, and the volume of extensions and instructions available for it. I was able to make a farily complex site with enough features without being too busy and focus on my content. This worked for a couple years as I would blog every few months in fits of starting and stopping. But then it became less about my writting and blogging and more about testing technology. I was expressing myself and my travel on other sites, places like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter became my new home for sharing in short form and I stopped any long form writting. Starting in 2020 I found the various social media platforms either too intrusive or too mentally draining, I paired down my social media to sharing shitposts on Reddit with a small group of friends or checking out cats I follow on Twitter. I stopped really sharing as the back and forth conversation with people becames taxing and I just didn't find any joy in it. So outside of a few people who I find interesting to engage with on Twitter or topics that hold my personal interest on Reddit I have all but walked away from social media (although I will log in to keep my accounts to not lose my user name).

So how did I end up back here blogging? Well, Twitter is currently imploding and it got me thinking "Why not just do long and short posting on my own site where I don't have to worry about immediate feedback?" I know the dopemine hit of seeing likes, shares, and responses is why people keep coming back to Twitter, but if I don't have to worry about what people are going to immediatly say to/at/about me then I can write however long or short I want and think more about my writing and less about the engagement.

Why Grav?

And that loops me back to choosing a CMS or blogging platform to use. Over the years I have had a chance to work with a few different CMS and blooging platforms like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, and Ghost. As I don't want to lose data when another company disappears from the internet I have gone with self hosting my blog. This meant I had to get a requirement list together of what I wanted from my platform and what was important to me. My first requirment was simplicity, in look, in use, and in install. I wanted something that was not going to take a lot of work to install, post, and manage. Look and that idea of simplicity I realized that I wanted something that would be easy to backup and transfer if I need to in the future. This meant I wanted to avoid anything that needed a database, keeping it all as pages in a more flat system means I can easily backup and move data as needed. It also simplifies install, maintenance, and management of the platform. This limited me as it took out all the big CMS and blogging platforms, even though using a container system like Docker, could minimize this it adds another management layer to the system. This lead me to looking through a large number of "flat" platforms that contain everything in files.

This landed me with Grav, a CMS platform for creating blogs, portfolios, or single page sites. The main draw is how long it has been around and the third party support Grav has and the volume of knowledge I have been able to find about it. Install was quick and easy, upload the files, go to the install file in my browser, do a quick site and user set up and I was ready to go. There was a learning curve to figure out how to set up pages and create new content, this has been the most time spent with my time in Grav and I will improve over time. For right now I have a couple posts up, I have the blog page working to show previews, and I have a new logo at the top. I will be making some layout changes and expanding the material on the site as I evolve in how I use it and learn more about my new home.

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