So it’s been a long time. A lot has happened and as ever we’ve been working hard behind the scenes. We’ve upgraded our machines, won an award at a hackathon, changed up our infrastructure and as you can see we have a new website.
The wordpress problem
After using wordpress for some time and spending more of that time on maintainence than actually posting on the site I decided that it wasn’t worth the time I was putting into it. Now don’t get me wrong, Wordpress is a great tool it just wasn’t fitting with our workflow and with hindsight was a lot more than we required.
The static solution
Enter Jekyll. A static site generator where I can work locally, branch my posts/changes and easily publish them.
Minimal Mistakes is a customisable and smart theme for jekyll.
My old workflow involved enabling the site maintenance page and working on a production system with a plan. Sometimes that worked out, sometimes it didn’t. I had researched better ways to use wordpress; developing locally, staging environments etc. which is all well and good but each seemed so convoluted and excessive to implement for what was essentially a simple blog.
Now if I want to write a post it’s as simple as branching from master and adding a markdown file to the _posts folder. I can test my changes locally and as everything is in branches I can work on and test bigger changes without having to fire up the site maintenance page and work on production.
Beauty is subjective and to some this may seem simpler than the previous site but for me it is clearer. The old site had too much going on and conveyed so little information, I was never a huge fan but at the time it looked “fancy” and “modern”. This is more our style.
So the site is looking a bit barebones for the moment. All our images were out of date and didn’t really represent what we are capable of today. So there’s that to look forward to. Of course now we intend to post a lot more than we did with our previous site, given how easy it is so.
Till then take care & stay safe.