Building a custom static website (updated)
A log of my how I host my blog.
Update Jan 2020
It's been a few years now, and I have discovered a few other hosting solutions. I have now moved on to a hosted solution because I find myself spending too much time tweaking by custom site rather than writing anything. While its fun to decorate my own little site, like the My Space times, a blog isn't much of a blog without content.
The benefits of a hosted solution:
- No more distraction from tweaking CSS and templates
- Simple workflow from writing to posting
The downsides are clear too:
- The posts are no longer text files, and hard to export
- Limited ability to build custom pages
I've been thinking of setting up a technical blog for quite some time now and I understand there are many options available online. None of them clicked for me however for various reasons:
The design needs to be simple (think Donald Knuth's personal website). The extreme version of this kind of design is known as Prof. Dr. Style, as they were commonly seen on University stuff profile pages. They are the fine relics of “pre-historical” internet without CSS or JS.
The site should also be static. A live server poses too many unnecessary attack surfaces, and maintaining posts in a database is another time sink with jobs such as migrations and backup.
I chose Hugo as I knew it quite well from previous projects, and I was thrilled to know that nowadays Hugo allows you to use SCSS without a JS taskrunner.
Now the site is versioned on GitLab and hosted on Netlify.
I'm pretty happy about it.