A New Start

August 26, 2020

After several years of telling myself that I’d update my website both to look more professional and to be easier to update, I have finally done it. Welcome!

This new website uses the static site generator Hugo, which has many powerful features that I will never need (but if I ever want to publish an RSS feed, I can do it!). However, it is fast and the structure and workflow make more sense to me than other generators I have used, so I will stick with it. The old site was also built with Hugo, but there were a few things that made it annoying to update, namely: 1) the lack of a CMS (which made it difficult to publish) and, further, 2) it was self-hosted on a cloud server, so any updates (including articles) had to be deployed manually.

To make it look professional, I have lightly customized the theme hugo-resume, which is based on the Start Bootstrap - Resume theme. Importantly, hugo-resume includes an easy-to-use CMS, Netlify CMS, which should make it much easier for me to write new posts. I tell myself that the reason I never published to my old site is because I needed to be at my computer to write new posts, and having a CMS means I can write from anything (or anywhere) with an internet connection.

Currently, I am hosting this on Netlify. The beauty of static site generators is that they are easy to deploy - literally any webserver can deliver pre-rendered HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The beauty of Netlify is that it automatically re-builds the site everytime I make a change to the git repository, reducing the friction it takes to make changes. Conveniently, Netlify CMS writes all changes as commits to a git repository, so each time I write a post, the whole site gets redeployed, usually within 60 seconds. Putting this all together, I don’t have to manage (or pay for) my own cloud server anymore, although I might keep one around as a hobby. Probably what I will do instead is set up a home-based linux server, either a Raspberry Pi or an old laptop (or both!), as a playground.

Nifty tech tag lists from Wouter Beeftink