Ben Borgers

I Keep Rewriting My Personal Website

February 6, 2022

I just got the urge yesterday to re-write my personal website, Yet again.

At this point, I’ve made almost 1,500 discrete changes to my personal website over the past couple years. I think I’ve re-written the code for it about ten times, most times with a completely different framework.

Why do I do this? I’m not sure. I think that my personal website is the one project that travels with me forever, so I have an urge to always make it the best that it can be. Unfortunately, the definition of the best seems to change in my mind quite often, so whenever I get a new idea that I like, I go in that direction.

Oftentimes, I re-write it because I want to make publishing blog posts easier. I move to a system where I can write in a fancy editor, or even in Notion, and have my blog posts published from there.

But then, I swing in the other direction: portability is important. I shouldn’t be writing my blog posts in a system like Notion where it’s hard to get the content back out in the future. So I swing back towards writing my content in text files within my code editor.

That’s where I am right now — my blog posts are written in markdown, a text format, and live alongside the code. But that means that to edit a blog post, I have to crack open my code editor. So it’s time to swing in the other direction — something with an easier writing interface.

The one thing I’m proud of is that I’ve brought my blog posts with me from one re-write to the next. I’m closing in on 150 blog posts on different programming topics, which bring in over 12,000 visitors a month to my site. And I’ve maintained the links to those blog posts religiously, so Google’s links don’t break.

I feel weird having this urge every couple months, and every time I feel like it’s a personal flaw. But it gives me something interesting to do, and lets me try out a bunch of different frameworks for building websites. When there’s a lull in schoolwork, it’s an interesting project to pick up and tinker with.

So maybe one day I’ll land on the perfect setup for my website that I’m completely happy with. But until then, I’ll keep re-writing it whenever the urge strikes.