Why I quit WordPress and Google Analytics

I started this blog as a place where I could just write for the sake of writing, so I wanted to simplify everything I could. I picked a brand new, minimal blogging platform built around Markdown formatting. The design of the site is simpler as well, both for me (as of this writing, I'm using the default theme with no modifications) and for whatever readers there may be. And I'm not using anything to monitor traffic or other statistics.

Like most office workers, I write a lot in my everyday work: emails, project plans, reports, etc. And, because I work in communications, I also write quite a bit for public consumption: blog posts, press releases, ad copy... you get the picture. I even write regularly under my own name on my company's blog. But all of that writing, even if it carries my byline, is for other people. I wanted a place where I could write whatever I wanted without regard for its utility to anyone else.

I've had some blog or another most of my adult life, and even somewhat recently blogged sporadically on a WordPress blog. WordPress is a tremendous bit of technology and has done a remarkable job growing to fit the CMS market while still aiming to keep up with slick upstarts like Tumblr. And their hosted platform, WordPress.com, comes with most of the features anyone would want in a blog. But that also means there are so many decisions to make between hitting login and publish that I sometimes didn't know where to begin.

Ghost is just a split screen with an editing area to the left and an HTML preview to the right. And because its post editor is built around Markdown, I can write wherever I have access to a plaintext editor (which is everywhere). So far I've used both Editorially and Draft to write posts, in addition to composing directly in Ghost.

There's no chance this site will get enough traffic for Google Analytics to provide me with meaningful information. Any time I spend watching traffic is time not spent writing. If anything on this site gets popular enough for the stats to matter, I'm sure I'll find out about it some other way.

As far as I can tell, there are two good reasons to track the traffic on a blog:

  1. You sell advertising and you need traffic numbers for your advertisers
  2. You're using traffic numbers to help guide the editorial direction of your posts

I get to spend plenty of time worrying (albeit only mildly) about SEO and traffic for my day job, and I have no plans to do that here.

Of course, I also like the newness of it all, which will one day wear off. But for now, I'm pretty happy with how my little corner of the internet is shaping up.