The hardest website you’ll ever work on is your own. Designing and writing content about myself turned out to be brutal but a site update was a long time coming. My old site was about two years old and it felt a bit dated. I didn’t have a blog and I wanted to start chronicling my development journey, mostly for myself. Instead of jumping in and working on it though, I would procrastinate, complain to my friends, and work on everything but my own site.
My friends and I finally being fed up with our own excuses for not finishing personal projects, created Procrastination Wars. It’s a private repo where we declare a goal in the readme, and have to push our work weekly to Github for review. Blog posts, code, sketches, whatever the goal is (mine obviously was to rebuild this site), it would get reviewed by everyone else for quality and accountability. We met every Wednesday to work on our projects and god help the person with no commits for that week. I found that to be the most effective method for getting something like this done. Here I am a month later with a nice shiny new blog. Yeah the site isn’t 100% but small updates will always happen.
I decided to use Ghost for my blog and point blank, it’s rough around the edges. My host didn’t support Ghost (not Ghost’s fault) so I had to switch and there aren’t too many hosts right now that support it. I’ll list a few here just in case someone is looking for one:
- [DigitalOcean]- The one I went with. SSD, one click “Ghost Droplet” creation, and bare bones enough to make me learn some things. Caveat Emptor, there’s manual setup involved so if you’re looking for everything done for you kind of service (email being one), this one is not for you.
- [Node Gear] - Brand new from the looks of it. Supports ghost out of the box, haven’t used it so can’t vouch for it either way
- [Amazon AWS] - Can do more than you’ll probably ever need. Not a bad choice, I’ve run a few EC2 instances and use S3 storage all the time.
- [Ghost] - The obvious. I’m not a big fan of their pricing plan and doesn’t offer general hosting, just the blog. Not a bad choice though if you just want to get up and blogging. Basically the equivalent of wordpress.com.
Aside: Don’t try to host your blog on Heroku right now, it will overwrite your images periodically due to their [ephemeral filesystem].
Their support for static pages isn’t ready for prime time. There’s no real way to have a completely static homepage and have the blog on a separate “blog” page withouth modifying the Ghost source. Rumor on the forums say it’s coming down the pipeline but for now you either have to edit the source or resort to some hackery.
Well I hope you all like the new site and there’s some interesting things I’m working on to make it even better. Cheers.