Hello everyone and welcome to the new site! This site has a tremendously different look and feel. I wanted to use something clean and efficient. Before we delve into the new, lets recap what I was using with the old site:
- Hosted on Siteground
- Running on Wordpress - Free-ish
- Plugins galore
- For newsletters
- For analytics
- For theming
- For security
- For Wordpress optimization
- For Wordpress formatting jank
- For backups
- For ….everything….
For me personally, Wordpress has to be heavily added to and modified before it's turned into a usable platform. While the cost was fairly low and the platform was “easy” to use from a GUI perspective, to actually get it to do what I wanted it to do was going to cost me. Instead of purchasing premium versions of the plug-ins I was using, paid themes, and potentially more hosting costs down the road, I ditched Wordpress as a platform and consequently Siteground as a hosting provider.
Now I was at ground zero. I had to come up with some criteria for what I wanted out of this site. I wanted to get rid of all the unnecessary code and bloat that I grew accustomed to by using Wordpress. I also wanted my new site to be as secure as possible. While doing a bit of research, my best bet seemed to be a static site generator. Given that I don't need to use any kind of dynamic content, this solution seemed ideal. I looked into the various SSG options and came across Hugo. Hugo has incredibly fast build times and seems to have a very promising future. My runner up choice was Jekyll. For those who are more concerned with community support, Jekyll would probably be a better option.
I have my Hugo site hosted on Gitlab. Using Gitlab pages, I can even host the site from there using my custom domain. This brings down those monthly server hosting costs to zero. Now that I've gotten my development work flow down for the site, here's some main take ways:
- Using Hugo, a static site generator. Pages are written in Markdown.
- Using Typora for writing the markdown.
- Using Git to commit and push the edits.
- Code is hosted on Gitlab.
- Gitlab pages serves the static site to visitors with no server costs.
- Given the static nature, the site is way more secure than Wordpress.
All in all, I'm very happy with Hugo and static site generators as a whole. They do require a bit more know how to get up and running, but there's a lot of really good documentation out there to help you along the way.