I recently switched my blog from Wordpress to Octopress. Below are some thoughts/points I collected during this process.
I generally like Octopress, and for me there are big advantages to using a static site generator over Wordpress (better security, no mysql, faster). However there are some issues (mostly minor) that came about as I began to really use it.
The Technology Stack
Octopress is a “framework” in the sense that it combines various technologies into a static site generator. On the plus side, you can leverage lots of interesting tools. On the bad side, if you are not already familiar with these tools you will have a lot to learn.
You could just use the stock design and feature set, but I think the most common use of this product will to be to customize the HTML/CSS/JS and stick with the Jekyll page generation framework.
That being said, to create a custom theme you will need to understand the CSS/JS/HTML (unless you start from scratch) along with the SASS & COMPASS technologies.
If you run into any bugs or display issues there are a lot of layers you may need to pull back. The below list is what I consider the significant technologies in use. If there is a display error (for example an IE8 bug I found) you may need to go through a lot of layers in the stack before finding the cause.
Source Control, Configuration, Preview, Build, and Deploy
- Modernizer.js (including plugins like respond.js, yepnope.js)
Theming (Templates & Posts/Pages)
Updating Octopress from github is not as smooth as it can/should be. My workflo has been to update into a branch and confirm I have a good read on everything before doing a merge.
This should be improved/less risky in future versions and I already see some tweaks being pushed to github. However it pays to be careful.
Octopress is pretty cool and if you have the time to tinker it can be a lot of fun. I would just re-iterate that it’s still relatively young and is a work-in-progress.