April 6, 2016

Trying out Jekyll

I’m switching my website over to a static site generator called Jekyll. After a year or so of having all my old posts gathering dust over on Tumblr, I got curious about static site generators again.

This was based largely on this post about the benefits of having a completely static, non-database website.

I’ve quite enjoyed figuring it out. I was helped immensely by this very good tutorial using a preconfigured Jekyll repository - that got me up and running in a few minutes, compared to the headscratching few hours I spent trying to get Jekyll running on my ancient Macbook last time I decided to tinker with this.

There’s something really nice about the simplicity of drafting posts in a text editor, dropping them in a folder and then getting them online with a couple of terminal commands. I spend a lot of my working time with dozens of Content Management System tabs open and I’m familiar with the foibles and peculiarities of many different ways of managing content online. So for my own website, it’s been really refreshing to keep it incredibly simple. This doesn’t even have a database.

I’m going to gradually move over my old posts as I get used to the interface, tinker with themes and otherwise fart around with Jekyll, so apologies if there are any broken links. I’ll probably remove a lot of the junky random Youtube videos while I’m at it.

Part of this is an attempt to take more ownership over the things that I’ve written online, since keeping them on Tumblr is basically relying on Yahoo to keep your words online for you. I learned with the demise of Google Reader that a service you thought would stick around often doesn’t.

So, having things in a nice, simple, easily moved and maintainable format may mean I write more, or that I’ve just made my own archive a bit easier to manage. Hopefully the former - I miss blogging. We shall see.

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Switch confirmed And here we are - I’ve made the switch over to Jekyll as the way that I’ll be updating my personal site. It’s a total dream to work with. I

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