I put a simple webhook server in place to auto-rebuild the static version of site when I push changes to github. :-)
I've moved this site from the Perch CMS to Next.js. This is partly because of Perch's uncertain future and partly because I wanted something more modern to work with. I quickly tired of dealing with Perch's PHP stack (which I don't know well at all, since I don't use it professionally), so I've been looking for node.js alternatives on & off for years.
Next.js was intriguing first of all because it's React based, but also because it offers a really nice range of options from static to dynamic pages. It seemed worth trying out, and I really liked it after some early experiments.
Right now I've started with a fully static Next.js site. I'll see how this goes. I'm considering migrating to a headless CMS for content management if I get tired of the static generation loop again; directus.io is my leading candidate (except for a bug that broke its SQLite support for now).
Perch's future looks uncertain, unfortunately.
As things stand there is not active development happening with Perch....
The product doesn't make enough money to justify two people working on it.
They promise at least maintenance-mode updates, but given that situation I can't use it for any new projects. Very sad. It sounds like the their business model just wasn't working out for them.
I finally added the ability to create picture posts. (I added that during the conversion back to Perch.) The intent is to enable me to post pictures quickly & easily, akin to instagram or twitter. It's just a first draft now. I'll refine it as I go.
I've given up on using Hugo for this site & finally moved back to Perch. The awkwardness of updating a static site just got to be too much, so I stopped posting. Now I can post quickly if I need to, and even update via mobile if I want to.
I'm using Perch Runway now instead of plain Perch. Runway's "collections" map perfectly to how I want to organize my content, and their developer pricing for a non-commercial site means there isn't a price penalty for using Runway. Thanks, Rachel & Drew!
The biggest downside I've found of using Hugo for this site is that it's awkward to create a new post. I have to be at my computer to create a new file (can't use mobile), and then I have to generate & upload to the server. The friction is minor, but it's still a small annoyance.
I'm considering using a headless CMS like strapi.io to remove this friction, but at the cost of more complexity. Mulling it over....
I tried forestry.io and investigated netlify. Interesting, but the experience is far from frictionless. They still force a good deal of developer-level complexity on you. Short story: neither seems to be the magic bullet I was hoping for.
Minor nit: I save frequently while editing, which creates a stream of work-in-progress commits when using those tools. Annoying.
I'm intrigued by services like forestry.io and netlify that put a browser-based editor in front of a static site generator like hugo. Seems like that's what is needed to make static sites a compelling alternative to the traditional CMS.