Peace symbol graphic

From WordPress to … Vito

It’s a bit ironic that the last post on this blog was “Some Investment News“, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that that spelled the end. But nay, tis but a beginning.

In truth, it was a year of building. Building, specifically, Vito. Vito is not a blogging platform, per-se, but if you think about it, neither any more is WordPress.

Here’s what I’m greeted with when I go to create a post on the Tito blog:

The WordPress Admin UI

WordPress is very, very fully featured, and the fact that it powers over 40% of the internet is no surprise. I decided to run with it a few years ago because … well, because there’s basically nothing it can’t do.

Here’s the equivalent screen over on Vito:

The view on Vito to compose a new “Page”

Now, Vito is not, and will probably never be a WordPress replacement, but there are many compelling reasons for me to write over there rather than here, and Vito is good enough now to replace WordPress for how we use it. In many ways, Vito does less, but in some key ways, we’re getting more.

Hosted vs. self-hosted
We decided, for a number of reasons, to self-host WordPress. Specifically, I used WordPress 12-factor, a neat way to get up and running on WordPress on Heroku. Sadly, WordPress 12-factor hasn’t really been maintained, and any time we want to update something on the blog, it requires re-learning all of the little tricks and quirks, not to mention getting PHP running locally.

We have setup Vito and Tito to be super easy to develop, and I’ll write about that in another post (on Vito, of course), so given that Vito now has even just fledgling support for creating a blog-style post listing, we’re going to take the plunge.

This is a bit self-evident, but worth mentioning. Since we’re building it, Vito inherits our company core values: integrity, excellence, and delight. For Vito, that means an emphasis on safety and security, being intentional about what we build and adding value where it’s least expected.

WordPress is an awesome product, and it’s open-source. Vito is not open-source and sometimes I feel as though perhaps we should do more with Tito or Vito to be more active in the open-source. We do share the occasional project though.

So, despite not being open-source, Vito is (obviously) in-line with our core values, and that makes me happy.

Modern and fast without plugins
I appreciate that this might be out of date, or that I could solve it with plugins, but WordPress feels slow to me. There’s a lag when I log in, and you can almost hear the database think when you hit the homepage.

Vito is designed to be fast. Really fast. There’s a lot of complexity in it, but we have added a ton of application-level caching so that things load really quickly once the cache is filled, which is typically within milliseconds. Page loads on Vito are also near-instant after the first load.

Video mixed with text
Vito has native support for video, and I love that I can just drop a video into the discussion, and then reference it later in a page or another post. WordPress has some features like this, but it’s not quite as cohesive. Again, you can attempt to solve this with plugins, but, personally speaking, I don’t really want to install another WordPress plugin. Ever.

The final piece that I’m most excited about, is that Vito has community built in, at both hub level and platform level. This is really the main point for me. The Team Tito Vito hub (eek, wordy, I know, but fun to say!) is much more than just a blog. Folks can join the hub and there’s the typical discussion feed for folks to post messages or ask questions. Since Vito is a platform, if someone already has a Vito account, they can easily join our Vito hub in one click. Since we designed it to be one-step, if they don’t already have an account, they are an email verification away from access.

This will allow us to take advantage of Vito’s announcement feature for sending emails, video feature for hosting livestreams or meetups, and continue our grand plan to solve the problem of creating safe, networked online community spaces.

So, for now, this blog will continue over on “The Tito Blog” in our Vito hub. We’ll keep this blog up for now until we figure out a migration path. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to dog-fooding our own platform.