What is this thing anyway?

Welcome to Publii!

Publii is a static page generation application, that features an interface very similar to the backend of other major CMS software such as Wordpress.

It's focused on blogging for the moment, which is lucky because that's what I'm using it for!

So, I decided to give this a go for a while. It's an experiment in using something that isn't WordPress, to write about subjects that aren't World of Warcraft, which is what I mainly blog about over on nerdrooted.com

Publii's backend
How Publii looks in Post creation...

Page generation is super-quick, as is page-loading. It generates pure HTML, CSS & JavaScript, meaning page loads should be super-fast.

It's a lot more minimal of a website than something produced in WordPress, and because it's static html and uploaded to a webhost (in this case Netlify) it means security and privacy are guaranteed. No need for GDPR notices, comments sections (although that is possible), or measuring metrics (again, possible to load in the backend though). This is a more stripped down creation experience.

You install the application, pick a theme, setup your server connection, and off you go!

So I installed it today and started having a play around with it. Generating pages, tinkering with menus, themes and settings and delving into how it all works.

6 hours later I realised I hadn't eaten lunch and it was nearly time for dinner!

To say I enjoyed the entire experience is an understatement.

Yes, it's a young platform/application, and there aren't that many options for theming available just yet.

But the entire project is open source, actively developed, and has an active community forum!

If you read the last post you'll know how much I value this sort of resource, so I decided to give the entire thing a go and see how it felt.

While it may or may not work out longer-term, so far this seems like a fast, no-cost* alternative to create new blogs for any number of topics I want to write about.

*Netlify doesn't charge content creators for less than 100Gb of bandwidth usage per month, which is more than enough, especially given how small the file sizes we're talking about here are.

In fact the image in this post is probably bigger in file size than the pages I've created so far...

Plus, with it being privacy focused, open source, fast and minimal, it seems like the perfect platform to blog about similar subjects:

  • Open Source
  • Linux
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Politics (maybe?)

And there's always the opportunity to create additional blogs for other subjects as the whim takes me!

I'm loving this experience so far, and it tickles me no-end that this thing produces completely flat and static HTML. I love that.

Hopefully this tickles me enough to take up regular blogging again, because I've not posted over on nerdrooted for 9 months now.

I will continue, or try, to blog there specifically about WoW, but I'll be honest and say that Publii is a far more enjoyable experience to use, even despite its downsides:

  • You have to use the Windows/Linux/Mac application to write anything - no mobile apps!
  • You can't cross post from Windows & Linux for example, because everything is stored locally then uploaded onto a webhost.
  • Themes are much less in number than WordPress. And those that there are, are in the main, purchases rather than free, and only a handful of those are nice enough to pay for.

Despite all those downsides, it's still a novel experience which I'm thoroughly enjoying, and I recommend setting up a free Netlify account and following this guide. It took me less than literally five minutes to install the software and create my site on Netlify.

And no, I'm not getting any kick-backs for this ;)

Like I said, it's an experience which may or may not last, but if it does look like it's going to last the pace, both as a project for the devs and for me as a user, I can even export my entire WordPress website from Nerdrooted, images and all, into a Publii website.

But that's a decision long down the road for another day...