What a better way to start a fresh website than speaking about how I started it fresh?

Previously my website was a custom written static website generator with Mozilla’s nunjucks library hosted on Rackspace cloud files. The stuff that I liked about this setup compared to say using Wordpress or Ghost blog was that

  1. the website was fast to serve. It’s just static files over a CDN
  2. I had no headache maintaining the platform.. like worrying about backups, upgrading, security updates.
  3. the hosting was free. Rackspace cloud files is storage + CDN is free.

What I didn’t like about this setup was the writing experience. It’s was all hand-written HTML and nunjucks templates. And even though I am proficient with HTML, it isn’t as convenient as say Wordpress or Ghost blogs. I wanted a better writing experience, but by still keeping the good things about a static website.

Enter Jekyll Admin and Netlify

So I went searching for a better way and found couple of new & old tools

  • Netlify CMS +Hugo
  • Ghost blog + netlify or S3
  • Jekyll Admin.

Netlify CMS + Hugo was easy to setup. But changing the theme wasn’t easy. So back to square 1.

Next, Ghost blog + netlify? Netlify would be my replacement for rackspace cloud files + their CDN. Setting this up is possible, but I need a developer blog theme. Couldn’t find one I liked.

Finally ended up with seeing Jekyll Admin. What’s Jekyll? Jekyll is a static website generator without a user interface out-of-the-box. Meaning that I’d be back to writing blog posts in a text editor. Not good enough. But Jekyll Admin adds a “site management” user interface to Jekyll. It also seems to be maintained by jekyll team themselves. So I thought I’d give it a try.

I needed a theme though. But there were lots of themes at jekyllthemes.io and couple of them designed for developer blogs. I found dbyll theme from there.

And the final piece was to host this somewhere. I found a blog post from netlify that shows how to deploy a Jekyll website to netlify. It needed a github repo though, which in a way a good thing since it becomes my backup storage service :)

Overll the searching + proof-of-concept setup took an hour, which is amazing time.

Next I need to move my old blog posts here :/ This aint gonna be easy.


Munawwar Firoz

Software developer, thinker, lollygagger.