The Setup

What would a new blog be without discussing the setup?

I have a lot of experience when it comes to blogging software. I have personally built/contributed to at least 4 (.Text, Community Server, Graffiti, and Ameba). There have also been other ‘ideas’ that never made it anywhere.

Besides that, I have tried quite a few others, most recently being Wordpress. Wordpress is something you either love or hate. I know at the end of the day the goal is to get words on the screen, but for me, I find it very draining to use.

I flirted for a couple of seconds with Gatsby, but honestly didn’t get it. I then spent a couple of days with Hugo, but ultimately came back to Jekyll. It is battle tested, has been around forever (in internet years), and I have a lot comfortably with it.

Hosting

This is where it gets interesting. I have been wanting use Netlify and this seemed like the perfect chance. Netlify is a super interesting service and it really feels like they give away too much for free.

Theme

For the theme, I didn’t want to start from scratch, but I wanted something really simple. After a few false starts, downloaded Type and then really did my best to simplify it.

  • Remove almost all of the JavaScript
  • Removed everything related to Disqus
  • Removed CSS I would never use
  • Converted the grid to a CSS Grid (this alone cut out a lot of CSS complexity…although likely not necessary for a single column site).

If you are curious, I left the commit history in place between my fork and the original Type theme.

Also Considered

  • Svbtle - actually signed up for a little while. Felt like a great tool for longer writing. Has a good community with a good price. I am hoping to use this site for some shorter content as well and this felt out of place there.
  • Ghost - looks interesting, but I didn’t want to use a managed host for it and felt like way too much JavaScript to host on my own. :)