This website

I have spent numerous hours tinkering with my personal website, perhaps more on the way it is defined and generated than on the actual content!

Date Page source Comments
2000 Text files PHP got used rather than HTML
2008 Apple's iWeb Didn't support a complex site
2009 Filemaker's Bento It seemed like a good idea at the time
2010 Joomla Too complicated for me
2011 Apple's iWeb again Apple killed iWeb anyway
2013 Text files again Worked well but limited styling of text
2020 Markdown More styling possibilities

I prefer static generation rather than using something dynamic like Wordpress or Drupal or Joomla? Those are good tools for the right website, but the static approach reduces worries about keeping one's website secure, about having to apply updates to the software running the website. The static approach is likely to be faster, less demanding on the web server, but that hasn't been a concern to me at least.

Having the website defined as data files on one's local machine rather in MySQL database tables is a lot easier to backup, and also less at risk at being locked into one particular technology. So something like Wix would make me uneasy about having a website on it.

I can edit the website from the comfort of my iPad while I'm lapsitting a cat. The website can be re-structured by moving and renaming files and directories around. The text files have a simplistic format so I can just type away, and most of the text is content.

So why not use one of the established static website generators like Jekyll or Hugo? Those are also good tools for the right website, with plenty of functionality. One answer is computing is a hobby of mine, and implementing a website generator is fun in its way to me. None of the static website generators give quite what I'm after, and while they might be customised to do so in terms of plugins and templates the learning curve looks as steep as writing one's own simple generator.

Another answer is that these tools to me are about flexibility and configurability. I wanted something which was deliberately limited and constraining, which would dissuade me from being too clever. So an analogy might be I'd take an automatic car over one with a manual gearbox, being able to choose which gear I'm in doesn't interest me so much as getting from A to B.

There is the minor question of whether anyone else reads the pages on my website, or whether it's like all the blogs out there with zero comments. When I've blundered (like failing to replace the default text on iWeb pages, or got the formatting wrong) I take some comfort in thinking no-one may have seen my misdeed. But it's rare for people to report mistakes on websites, they normally just move on.