Why this website is not in Flutter

Hi there, and welcome to my new attempt of a creating a blog for my work :). There is not so much flashy things like a dark mode or any other cool feature that I usually like in my Blog websites that I created over the years. Just plain and simple WordPress with the default theme. Boring? Yes. But if my years as freelancer teaches me something, than that the easiest way is typically the best. And believe me, this website has already created me some headache. In this post, I want to give you my story and tell you why this website at the end is not a Flutter project.

The beginning

I am a software engineer, and with this, I have that inner voice that tells me to create everything myself and always use the newest and shiniest thing. That is the reason my software is always up-to-date. There is a new macOS update? Max is on it. My Arc Browser has a new update, I am the first to install it. This Engineering curiosity is in my opinion one of my best traits, but it also comes with a downside.

When I started with my YouTube Channel in 2019, the first thing I created was, … well, a website. I even created a video for that purpose because I was so thrilled that I could create something with Flutter and deploy it to GitHub Pages. But somehow it was slow, and Flutter is great for a lot of projects, but for a Blog or Website only it is just not the right tool. Yes it works somehow, but you know, there are downsides that you have to take like the missing SEO support and also the compatibility with non Chromium browsers.

But you know, I was at the beginning of my Flutter journey and my viewers were not interested in a “website” at all and just wanted to see me develop and teach some Flutter stuff. Therefore, the website was not existent and also not really used. I created more and more videos, and as a content creator you slowly want to develop yourself. And the website was like a hot needle in my back that I always wanted to improve and had a bad feeling that a possible client would ignore my website if it was not properly designed.

This was the moment I thought about rejuvenate the website, and because I know JavaScript and worked with TypeScript around 6 years you know I can do it myself and create something cool. Maybe with an easy template, and next.js has a lot of them. This cannot be that hard, right? RIGHT? Set up a Vercel Account to use the fantastic integration tooling and 5 minutes later I had a new website.

The next shiny thing: Next.js

Incredible just some smaller things to learn, like understanding MDX, learning about Front Matter, new config files I never heard about and a integration with “Contentful” a free headless CMS. Wow, that sounds like the perfect tooling for my wished website. Let’s create everything myself and produce videos and be a speaker and a mentor and all the other thousands of side projects I was working for. What could go wrong?

Well again the website faced some downs, and even I was able to create a nice blog that I could add blog posts very simple to it. I was still not happy. I needed to create an own Breadcrumb that cost me around 2 days. Investigating into deeper and deeper JS issues. And the worst part was the upgrading process that I run into after 3 months of maintenance because packages got old and needed an upgrade.

This frustrated me, investing a lot of time and did not get any meaningful result. And whenever I talked with my wife and told her I am working again on the website, I received the “look” with the comment “Don’t you have something more valuable to do?”. The worst part was that she was right, but the website was a passion project. It looked good, it had a Dark & Night switched, and the design was quite well.

Then Fireship came and told me about a fancy new way of UI components that everyone should know about, “shadcn/ui“. Wow, what a component library, it was minimalistic and just fantastic and easy to use (at least I thought so). To be a master developer myself, I hacked some stuff in the CLI created some files in my project and voilà nothing worked as I expected it. I need Tailwind CSS. Ok, let’s learn Tailwind. Ok, I guess till here you get the drift, learning learning learning and investing time and more time and more time. And according to my minimal stats, there was no real benefit to all that work.

And the worst part? Well on my main site I had a link button that should just open up a mail program with a mailto: link, but because of the “use client” stuff the website fired that link every once in a while and opened one Mail Client window after another and that sucked.

Mailto Link opens multiple email windows

So I let some time pass, left the issues open, and then the moment came when I had the fantastic idea to create a course on my website and offer it to you. And you guessed it, do it myself.

The end

I created sites, learned new stuff like user management. Added an “easy” login method via Supabase. And did all kinds of crazy stuff but in the end the product was nowhere near to, and I did not earn any money or received any feedback like for example if the community even wished a Course. Also, I run in more and more issues and needed to learn even more about Next.js framework and the underlying architecture. Which is great if it would be a fun side project. But I considered it as a main part of my income source in the long run.

Now after around 1 week into the works I finally gave up. I was strict and tracked my hours this time and my mind blow when I found out that I invested around 40 hours just to create some pages because there was always something that needed repair, fixed or any other part. And the worst part was that all the providers where I can offer free courses, they always come with a website builder.

So I had the investment I made on one side, and with that came the sunk cost fallacy. And even worse was that my time got even more scarce because of my fresh born little daughter. Besides that I wanted to create more content, and be active as a GDE and so much more and that was the moment I finally decided to give up. No more YouTube, no more Podcast, no more comment reading or tutorial creation for at least one year. And here I am back and feel better than ever.


Ok, but now back to my learnings, what did I learn over that? Well probably still not enough, I still love to create things on my own and invest way too much time on things nobody will ever really need (Home Server, Bitcoin Node, Arduino etc.) and I think that is ok. But as soon as it affects my business and I really want to be productive, there needs to be some indicator.

I am happy that my wife created the necessary pressure to finally finish the website. Also, I can highly recommend to track hours that you invest in this kind of projects, and now I am best friend with Clockify that allows me to easily track time in a Repository on GitHub.

Ok, but why is this website not anymore in Flutter? Because it is not the right tool for the job. Next.js was way too complicated for the things I wanted to do, and Flutter would be not a bit better. You will get all the downside and nearly no benefit. Therefore, I decided to stay calm and create it with WordPress no fuzz at all (for now).

I am sure you have also some great stories about invested time over never finished projects, so please let me know. And now, if you liked that post, and you had some fun with it, feel free to donate a small amount.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner