I've been blogging since 2010. It's a hobby, so I only write on topics I care about. I write for stats, but that does not mean stats aren't important to me. KeesTalksTech is set up in a certain way to perform. Of course it uses SEO and other technique to attract attention (why write if nobody reads, right?). I mostly write for my future self, to remember what I did to fix a certain problem.
This article is an "about" page for this blog.
I'm using the following stack:
- WordPress - just like 35% of the internet. I love the fact that it is very pluggable and adjustable. The Gutenberg editor enables me to focus on writing my articles in a structured way. Although a static page generator might improve speed, I like the fact that I can improve articles on the fly.
- Cloudinary Dynamic Asset Management - I want my feature images to have the best performance, that's why I offload them to Cloudinary. Setting it up is easy with their guide. And best of all: they have an excellent free tier (that I'm using).
- Diqus - because I hate spam! And I don't want all those comments stored in my own database. I use the API to get custom alerts and most of the people in the community use it anyway.
- Google Analytics - because I don't have a better alternative, but I want to know which users are reading what.
- Unsplash - most of my feature images come from this excellent site.
- Taxonomy pages now contain sub navigation items: Submenu navigation for category pages.
- Stopped using widgets for the latest and highlights in the sidebar. Now using 2 shortcodes, check Shortcodes for simple post lists in WordPress.
- Implemented a scroll indicator, got the idea from How TO - Scroll Indicator. Super simple and easy to implement in a theme.
- Implemented a Tasty CSS-animated hamburger-menu button.
- I have a deployment pipeline that does minification:
- For CSS I use clean-css.
- HTML is not minified in my pipeline, but I use How to Minify HTML in WordPress Without a Plugin.
To Theme or Not To Theme?
That's the question!
If you just want to focus on blogging and not on fiddling with WordPress: get a theme. I switched in 2016 to WPExplorer's Blogger Theme — which is still a free theme — and in December 2017 I switched to the payed Gillion theme. The main rationale: ease of use, a beautiful design out of the box and a lifetime of updates.
2020: performance matters
I removed a lot of "bloatware" plugins, unregistered stylesheets and scripts and started to use Oh My Google Fonts to improve Google Font loading. I had to create a child theme to start overriding entire pages.
I did a split of CSS files: critical CSS was inlined and the rest of the s
Dec 2020: bye bye Gillion!
Let's face it: with every update WordPress gets a lot better! Images are now
loading=lazy by default and contain
srcset attributes 😍. Instead of page builders I see myself using Gutenberg more and more.
To get a better performance I decided to get rid of as many plugins as possible