Moving from Gatsby to WordPress

For the past year or so this site has been running on  Gatsby.js. Gatsby is a static site generator built with React. I had built some stuff with it at work and decided to give it a try for my personal blog.

The process ended up being too tedious for what I’m looking for so I moved to WordPress.

I’ll break the Gatsby experience down into two parts: building and publishing.


Building with Gatsby was, and is, awesome. Once I got my head wrapped around GraphQL I was able to really get things moving. Also, hot reloading and Sass FTW.


This is where the experience fell down for me. Writing in markdown was great, but having to push to git and rebuild the site every time I wrote a new post kinda sucked.

If I was on my laptop all the time this would be fine. The problem is I do so much of my writing on my phone and iPad these days. While it’s technically possible to publish from iOS with Working Copy and Textastic, the experience is just too tedious.

On to WordPress

I looked at a few other options, notably, but ended up going with WordPress.

Also, I have some experience using a Headless CMS + Gatsby. It’s more work and maintenance than I’m looking for.

The Pros

  • WordPress has great iOS apps for iPhone and iPad
  • Integration with Bear, my writing app of choice
  • Super low friction posting and editing with text, images, video, etc. The Gutenberg editor is pretty cool.
  • I’ll spend less time tinkering with my site, which gives me more time for developing Sofa.

The Cons

  • Building my WordPress theme was way less fun than building with Gatsby. This guide was really helpful.
  • My content isn’t in Markdown anymore. I’ll still write Markdown in Bear before publishing to WordPress so this should be fine.
  • It’s more expensive than Gatsby + Github + Netlify (which was free).

Gatsby is still awesome

I’m by no means shitting on Gatsby. I love and use it for other projects. The Sofa website is built with Gatsby. I simply prefer a more iOS-centered blogging experience.

For example, this entire post was written on my iPhone, in Bear, and then published with the WordPress iOS app. Just what I’m looking for.

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