New website and blog

Moving website to the new platform

I spent several evenings on rebuilding my website and blog - The first platform I used to write periodically about my hobby game engine was I started it several years ago, but for some reason decided to switch to AWS based website and WordPress - basically the only reason was to learn basics of html and web site development. Also, I wanted to try it as a server for my prototypes of multiplayer games. WordPress-based blog was bad - SQL database periodically crashed for some reason and I had no idea why (probably memory configuration). I was tired and cancelled my subscription to AWS services (honestly the main reason was the expiration of the free period) and closed the website and blog.

To rebuild it I decided to use Jekyll - a static site generator, written in Ruby by Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub’s co-founder. It’s called ‘static’, because websites created using this technology don’t have SQL databases, complex scripts etc. It’s fast, simple and blog-oriented. Also, it natively supports Markdown with syntax highlighting for almost every programming language. You basically compile your Markdown posts, templates to the final static site and GitHub can be used to serve a site for free. This was exactly what I needed.

Jekyll is relatively mature technology, started in 2008, so it’s easy to find templates for a website. I liked the design by the company html5up and it’s under the Creative Commons license. I started from the simple Jekyll-based blog template Jekyll-Now and applied the html5up theme on top of it a day later. Some additional pain was the porting of my old blog, exported from WordPress to Markdown but I used some scripts. This link is useful to port WordPress blogs to Jekyll.

I used Disqus for comments originally but afterwards this article (shortly - 105 additional network requests and a ton of tracking for some shady sites) replaced it with Facebook comments. The source code for the website and blog can be checked on my GitHub account here.

I hope that no exciting new technology will appear soon and I will not port this site to it again.

P.S. The broken English of the old blog was fixed by my 9 year old son, who is the winner of his school’s Spelling Bee competition. Now he is my fulltime editor.

Written on May 2, 2017