Moving stuff around

Created: 04 Dec 2011

For the past year or so my personal website has been in some disrepair; the RSS feed was returning HTML and there was no way to get to most of the blog entries at all. It was all on a domain called, hosted by a third party. Both of these are things that I grew out of a long time ago and the source of some embarrassment. Sorting these things out has been too much like the day job for me to muster any enthusiasm.

I made a few attempts to migrate everything to an open source CMS, but these petered out after getting irritated with Wordpress or trying to glue the various bits of Django together to do what I want. Drupal, Wordpress, Django and all the other full-featured content management systems and frameworks I tried can be made to do what I want, but at the cost of spending hours learning their features, choosing styles and enabling plugins. Once that’s all done there’s the ongoing patching for security updates.

This weekend I really should have been doing something useful with my time, but instead I ended up migrating my blog entries to a static site, running on my BitFolk VPS, with pages generated by Jekyll. I combined this with a change of domain name and using Bootstrap as my stylesheet. The spartan design isn’t a great demonstration of what you can do with Bootstrap; there are some clear examples on their site that are well worth looking at if you like to avoid writing CSS at all costs.

One surprising outcome is that I seem to have regained some enthusiasm for writing on the web and making web pages. I’ve put this down to how easy it is to write in Markdown using a text editor and not having to worry about HTML. It feels like the Jekyll workflow is pretty close to my ideal way of making a simple site.

Static pages mean that I can’t host comments without using a javascript solution like Disqus, but that also means that I won’t have to deal with comment spam, which seems like another maintenance win.

I still have a few things to migrate over and then we’ll see how long my enthusiasm lasts.