Progress at, and Reacting to React

Originally published at on September 15th, 2017.
Updated September 25th, 2017 to fix a footnote link.
Added to on October 31st, 2017, while moving my sites from NearlyFreeSpeech, and leaving in a state of flux. See Blogging Beyond the Grave for my rationale.

So, after creating my domain, I spent a bit of time exploring my options. A huge chunk of my motivation for this exploration was provided by the buzz about WordPress, Gutenberg, React, and Facebook. But it only took one day to sink in that, regardless of what happens with WordPress and GPL licensing in the future, I don’t want to leave NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. Since WordPress is such a flexible platform, one that I already know I can install and run on NearlyFreeSpeech, and one that I know I can update via CLI, I set up a new NFS site, got WordPress up and running1, pointed my new domain in the right direction, and set up TLS via Let’s Encrypt.

Then I got down to business.

I decided to use the new site as an art portfolio.

I futzed with the three themes included in a default 4.8.1 install (Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, and Twenty Seventeen), found the proper dimensions, and started making graphics in SketchBook Pro 6.

This is what the public face of the looks like as of this morning: Screenshot 09-15-2017 Screenshot 09-15-2017. Note the cute little linking graphics on the white half of the page. If you scroll down, you’ll find a matching pair here on

“Nothing Found.”

Hopefully, that won’t be the case for long. I’m doing a lot of work in the back end, and am optimistic that some of the effort will be complete enough to publish soon.2

But the reason I’m posting this progress report—the real reason it’s happening now, instead of waiting to post when the site is ready for consumption—is that I stumbled (via Reddit) onto Matt Mullenweg’s latest post On React and WordPress.

I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know enough to give you an analysis of how React‘s terms could cause problems for WordPress or its users. I don’t know enough to give myself an analysis of the issue, either.

But I know enough to know that I don’t want to have to worry about it.

Because of that, I’m relieved that Automattic has decided to leave React out of Gutenberg. It was a good decision, for me, if not for anyone or anything else.

And that makes choosing to build my new site with WordPress a good decision, too.

1. Remind me, sometime soon, to post about how my method of setting up TLS with WordPress on NearlyFreeSpeech differs from the official instructions. It’s minor, and mostly involves me not doing some of the included steps, but I should probably write it out while it’s still fresh in my non-webdev brain.
2. Keep your Dropbox well-organized, kids! Especially your art files and photo files! OMG!