September 01, 2014

Latest setup

By the time you read this I’ll have ditched the Template Toolkit-based static site generation system and moved into Github pages. I tried out Squarespace as well – the years of podcast ads mandated it! – but:

  1. It was non-trivial to import all my old content. I tried generating a WordPress XML export (1) but it failed with an obscure error. And the customer service was fairly helpful but the final suggestion was to import my stuff into WordPress (via RSS, I think) and then pointing Squarespace to the WordPress site.
  2. Moving my site off Dreamhost (2) also involves email forwarding my standard-since-the-90s-email address to gmail, which I’m pretty sure they don’t offer.
  3. I really enjoy working in my editor and managing change through git.

So now I have:

  • This site, which is hosted by github using a static site generated by Jekyll. It’s a little constraining (3) but I’m fine dealing with it.
  • DNS hosted by DNSimple. Which I didn’t even know about until meeting Anthony at Steel City Ruby this year. Excellent interface, and the one-click setup for Github pages and Pobox was awesome.
  • Mail forwarding hosted by Pobox, so I now have a, non-gmail permanent email home with someone who exchanges services for money. (Novel!)
  • A Linode instance for hosting various junk over time.

Motivation for the change was an itch to write a little more. Which isn’t hard since I’ve written almost nothing for a few years. So time to start scratching…

(1) This was actually straightforward with the ttree-based generation I was doing. Just changed the configuration to point to a different per-page header + footer to XML-based ones, and pointed the output to an entirely different directory.

(2) Dreamhost has given me ZERO problems over the years, and I’m a little sad to say goodbye. Highly recommended.

(3) The “related posts” feature is pretty much useless and doing something more interesting I think requires access to the code that does the generation. Github pages works by running Jekyll on the code you push to your repository. If it becomes really annoying I can choose to host the static files myself on that Linode instance.

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