Hello friends. BIG NEWS. I’m moving Swordsman of the Word to a new web hosting service. More, I’m rebuilding it from a dynamic WordPress site to a static website using Hugo. But first, before I talk more about this….
I said in my last announcement that, because I’m going to close down my Patreon account, I’ve created two new accounts in Ko-fi and Liberapay to handle your gifts to me — Ko-fi for one-time donations, and Liberapay for recurrent donations. However, because of PayPal limitations in Liberapay, I’ve closed down my account on it just a few days later.
And so now I’m depending solely on Ko-fi for all the financial transactions of my blogging. I’ve upgraded to the Gold subscription so that my page can accept both one-time and recurrent donations. This is now the updated link to my Ko-fi page:
Upgrading to Gold also means that I now have the option for supporters-only content, just like in Patreon. And even though I already said that I won’t be having such kind of content anymore, I changed my mind about it. For I still have my journal entries and my writing notes that I can share only to my supporters.
Moreover, Ko-fi has a simple online store — Ko-fi Shop — where one can sell both digital and physical products. I will also be using this feature. If you’ll remember, I have plans to publish and sell ebooks as part of the business side of my blogging. Now, I’ve tested the option of a full-fledged online store, but it is much too complicated, and the free service I’ve signed up to (freewebstore.com) doesn’t support digital products. The best choice for me then is to just use Ko-fi Shop for selling my ebooks, but to use it together with a simple website that will serve as my storefront.
It is while exploring my options for this storefront that I come across what are called static site generators, particularly Hugo. It is a command line program that will, at a single command, publish a complete static website that is based on markdown source files. Some technical knowledge is required, especially about HTML, CSS, markdown, and using the command line, but once you’ve learned how to use it, it’s magical. A website created in less than a second! You have full control of what you create, you can choose from among the hundreds of themes (and so you are only required to learn the basics), and you can host it wherever you want.
And so why am I transforming Swordsman of the Word (and my pastoral blog and my future library) into static websites, and moving them into that world? Three reasons. Control. Affordability. And ease of maintenance.
My friends, as you know, with my project under construction, Swordsman Library, I’ve already explored the option of having a self-hosted WordPress site. And my eyes have been opened to what the WordPress software can really do: much more than what we are getting here in Personal and Premium Plans.
Understandably, being hosted in WordPress.com has its limitations, and I accept that. But I’m growing up as a webmaster, and I’m already chafing under these limitations. I also understand that to be able to harness the real power and control behind WordPress, I would have to subscribe to the Business Plan (which I can’t afford), or self-host any website I create. But the problems with self-hosting a WordPress site are these: it is much too expensive, and the maintenance much too demanding of one’s time and effort. Do you know that some of the features we take for granted here in WordPress.com, like Akismet and access to and visibility in the WordPress Reader, are actually not free outside the cloud? One also has to install and keep track of a lot of plugins (some of which are not free) just to get some needed features, like shortcodes.
Now, at the price of being cut off from the cloud and its benefits (including my blog followers), I can be a real webmaster of my own affordable websites and blogs using Hugo. What will I choose? Well, my friends, you already know my choice.
But the good news is that I’m not leaving WordPress.com completely. My other blog, Swordsman Community, is still here, and I’ll be posting there the links to my blog posts in Swordsman of the Word.
Of course, you can also subscribe. When I’m ready to blog again, I’ll set up a newsletter so that you can receive my posts through email.
This decision of moving has totally wrecked my plans, especially that of resuming my blogging in January. I just don’t know now when I’ll be back. Also, there are now some major changes in The Swordsman Network because of this. I’ll talk about these changes in my next announcement.
In a few days time, I will cancel my subscription for this blog, and so it will revert to its original address: swordsmanoftheword.wordpress.com. The same domain of swordsmanoftheword.com will be used when this blog is up and running in its new place.