I have decided to simplify my life in a few different ways…


Firstly, I closed my business PackWeb. I started PackWeb in 2012 and it served me well over the years; sometimes as my primary source of income, and sometimes just on the side. But having a business/ABN means extra work at tax time, and since my customer-base was slowly dwindling (and I now have full-time employment anyway), I decided it wasn’t worth keeping PackWeb around anymore.

This means I:

  • Will have an easier time submitting my tax return in future
  • Don’t need to run/maintain a webserver anymore
  • Don’t need to maintain various Backdrop/Drupal websites
  • No longer need a domain/hosting reseller account
  • Was able to cancel my ABN and business name registrations
  • Don’t need a Stripe or business bank account

Quite a bit of simplification right there!

Since I no longer have a webserver, I needed to move my own websites elsewhere. I found a cheap, Australian web host and moved my Backdrop sites and domain names there. However a few weeks later Backdrop had a security release and I needed to update it. On my old webserver I had full SSH access and was able to run bash/Drush commands to do this sort of thing easily. Now I found I needed to use FTP to upload files, etc. Ugh!

I realised that I didn’t really want to maintain a Backdrop site anymore. My personal blog wasn’t anything fancy, so a full CMS like Backdrop seemed a bit like overkill when I thought about it… I’d heard of static site generators before, but didn’t know much about them or what options there were. I did some research and found Hugo which, being free and open source, was right up my alley. So I started re-building my personal website as a static site instead.

Previously I was using LinkStack for, and then my Backdrop blog was technically a separate site: So I decided to comsolidate and just build a link page as the homepage in Hugo.

My new static website has the following benefits:

  • Easier to maintain (just HTML/CSS/JS files - no database, PHP ,etc.)
  • Better security (no server-side code)
  • No more need for separate sites or a third-party service
  • Code can be hosted by a git repo

That last point’s important, as it means I don’t have to use FTP to upload my files. I can just host them in my git repo using Codeberg’s Pages . That means adding a new article to my blog is as simple as writing a new Markdown file locally, then pushing it up to my repo!
And fun fact: this article is my first post in my new Hugo site!

Social Media

Earlier this year I joined the fediverse by signing up for a account. I chose over other fediverse services (like Mastodon) as it seemed to have more features and was also what a friend of mine was using (which was a big part of why I joined in the first place). However I’ve been having some issues with - the site being offline/not working at all, or more recently it not showing any posts in my feed (despite the rest of the site working). I have previously tried hosting my own instance, but it didn’t go well. So I started looking for another instance to move to (in case the issues were instance-specific). And this is when I realised that is not very popular, at least in comparison to services like Mastodon - the number of available instances is not very big, and I couldn’t find one I liked.

So I decided to move to Mastodon instead. Mastodon is much more popular, which means more instances and a better UI/UX. I quickly found an instance I liked and have started using that: I could try hosting my own Mastodon instance in future, but I likely won’t (maintenance, etc. - the opposite of simplification).


I’ve typically been very active in the Backdrop community - contributing to issues, pull requests, chatting with other community members, etc. But since shutting down PackWeb and converting my personal site from Backdrp to Hugo, I’ve noticed my activity level dropping. And understandably too, since I don’t really have any Backdrop sites to maintain anymore so I’m not finding bugs, looking for solutions, etc.

Backdrop uses Zulip as it’s community chat platform. I had the desktop and mobile apps installed and checked them daily. A while ago though I uninstalled the mobile app as I figured I could just check everything on my computer. But more recently I’ve noticed that I seem to just be scrolling through conversations without actually reading them, just to get my ‘unread’ counter back down to zero. So I made the decision to uninstall it from my computer as well. I’ll still get notified via email if someone messages me directly, or mentions me in a conversation (all of which I can check via their web app), but I won’t feel like I need to scroll through it constantly anymore. And one less app installed on my phone and computer is always a good thing!