I have tried many times to build a place to share my ideas and with this site I feel finally have one.
In the past I’ve begun several personal sites based on Wordpress but always get annoyed keeping my local and production sites synced together. It always ended up with me becoming disenchanted and never actually writing. This all changed after I learned about static site generators, and looking around at the options, I settled on Octopress because it had pretty good documentation. Building a site with a static generator has a number of benefits:
- Test locally
I no longer have to worry about keeping a database in sync as there are none. It’s easy to write a post, preview it locally, and quickly deploy it to the production site. In case I ever mess things up I also keep everything versioned with git.
- Just write
Being able to write a post in Markdown has been one of the biggest improvements. I don’t have to login to an admin section or worry about how a WYSIWYG editor is going to mess with my markup, I just write and I know how the markdown file will compile.
- Front ending
Being able to just stick with what I know best, HTML and CSS with any JS I might need has been great. The Liquid markup that Jekyll and Octopress use is easy to work with and customize. Getting up and running with Ruby has probably been the biggest challenge with switching to a static site generator. After the initial setup you don’t have to mess with it much.
It’s been a long time coming
I’m satisfied with the site for now though I’m sure I will be making changes in the future. I still haven’t decided if I want to implement social media buttons or comments, I think it will depend on how much activity I see. All I know for certain is that I now have a place to practice my writing and share my ideas.