I’ve been meaning to blog a lot more. It improves my writing skills, and also gives me a nice place to capture my thoughts in a long form before I forget.
One of the main impediments for me is the blogging platform I’ve been using – Jekyll with Github pages. It’s simply too much to quickly write a post. In an attempt to blog more, I’ve moved my site to wordpress.com.
Static site generation
Static site generation is pretty popular with the Hacker News crowd. It definitely has an appeal to me as well. The first iteration of this website ran on Apache on an old Macbook with Debian, and was just html pages I cobbled together in Emacs.
After that server got hacked (yes – 0 day ssh exploit on Debian), I decided to move to something hosted. After a lot of research I settled on using Jekyll and publishing to github pages. This worked pretty well, but it also became a bit of a drag.
I needed my Linux desktop/laptop to post on, since I had to run the Jekyll ruby server so I could preview my changes. This led to a somewhat clunky development cycle of edit in Emacs, refresh browser, sometimes restart Jekyll server if I changed layout or whatever. I also couldn’t easily make a post from any device with a web browser.
Migrating my wife’s site to wordpress
About a month ago I moved my wife’s site from blogger to wordpress. She’s a professional blogger, and blogger has gotten really long in the tooth. I ended up setting up a digital ocean droplet for her with the entire stack, fronted by Cloudflare, which is working pretty well. We originally tried wordpress.com (way too limited for a pro blogger), then we tried bluehost (extremely slow, very buggy admin interface), before I finally gave up and just self hosted it. WordPress has a surprising number of components to setup to get it functioning properly, but I’ll save that for another post.
Anyhow, this introduced me to WordPress. While often derided by the technical snooty, the wordpress UI is very slick. No mucking about with parsing Jekyll docs and config, syntax highlighters, or various other oddball behaviour. It just works. As my life has gotten more busy over the last few years, anything that saves me time is a big help.
Just use hosted wordpress.com
For this blog, I’ve stuck it on wordpress.com which is the hosted version of wordpress. Limited functionality, but zero maintenance overhead for me, which is exactly what I want.
I’m hoping the smoother experience gets me posting more.