For a couple of months I’ve been working towards relaunching my blog using Jekyll and GitHub pages. I wanted to write a post to reflect on the process a little and mark this soft-launch.
My past blogging situation
In the first half of last year, despite things getting crazy-busy at work, I got very good at blogging regularly. Every Sunday morning, I would try to get one post for the week out. Most of it was on the rather uninteresting subject of the blogging itself (much like this post) but it was a good habit to get into.
Then in mid-July, having got through a huge project on the website at work, I lost my way. I think this was for a couple of reasons.
Although I was arguably less busy, my workload suddenly got much more fragmented. All the things that I had dropped to work on one big high-priority project suddenly started to rear their heads. Although this should have meant I had more to blog about, in practice I lost focus; it was hard to know where to start.
A second reason was that I needed some decompression time after that big project. The little side projects that had kept me going through one of my busiest periods suddenly lost their importance. I was simply relieved and wanted a proper break.
My blogging platform
I hadn’t intended to take off so long from blogging though. My hiatus was compounded and lengthened by the demise of my blogging platform of choice.
Prior to the end of September last year, the blog posts that precede this one lived on Scriptogram, a neat and simple way to blog by putting files into a Dropbox folder.
Despite the simplicity of Scriptogram, I had managed to develop a quite a complicated workflow around writing posts. It’s good that I did, as I always strived to keep my content as platform-neutral as possible. That’s meant it’s been quite easy to port everything I had already backed up to this new blog.
My new blog
This is actually almost ideal. I’ve always tried to version-control my writing and put it through various checks and stages of editorial and quality control. Github Pages seems a natural fit. With it, you can set up a repository based around your username and the suffix
.github.io. The repository itself can be made private but the posts and pages you set up will be visible at
Futureproofing with domains
Because I want my content to remain platform-neutral, I’ve decided to invest a little in my blog and bought myself a domain name.
Having my domain name should allow some stability for content I produce even if I decide (or am forced again) to switch platforms in future.
This also makes things easier if and when someone other than me finds a post of mine useful – as happened with my post on Mustache vs. Handlebars last year – and wants to bookmark it.
With this soft launch I’m hoping to establish my good habits of last year again. Although I stopped blogging in the middle of last year, I nonetheless continued to write, across paper notebooks and in plain-text files on my computer. I hope to share some of that writing of the coming weeks and also talk about some of the projects I have been working on recently.