Moving to Vuepress
In 2018 I wrote my own blog engine and it's time to move off.
Tooling is fun until it isn't
I like writing code and thought this was going to be a fun, easy project. How hard is it to write a blog engine anyway?
The truth is I would rather be writing or coding new things then building and maintaining something that's been done thousands of times by other people. Yes, the foundation of a blog isn't hard, but the challenge is in the details. Here are some bits of grief I encountered:
Yes, Frozen-flask allowed me to turn my site into a static site. However, the compilation time took over 5 minutes. While I ran my site locally on localhost, testing out additional features to see how they rendered in the final build took too long. For example, my plans to optimize page/image loads and add search came to a screeching halt.
The end result was that for all my fun in writing the Mountain blog engine for myself, I felt uncomfortable with the results. Every time I visited my blog to write I would see the problems in the current system, try to fix them, then step away.
It's been time to migrate my blog for a while.
Choosing a new blog engine
A few months ago I wrote up these requirements:
- Must be a static site because Jamstack rocks.
- If not using .html extension, must easily redirect from .html to as not to annoy old readers. Netlify's redirects are perfect for this kind of thing.
- Search needs to be a thing.
- Powered by VueJS because it's my favorite frontend framework.
So when I saw that my coworker, Amanda Quint had started a Vuepress blog I decided to give it a try. Setup was easy, but as always the challenge was in the details.
My current blog is over 7 years old and has over 130 articles. I ran into a number of problems with converting from a forgiving blog engine I wrote to something designed to prevent you from having missing content. There was also coming up with a theme.
Fortunately for me, my co-worker and friend Ahmad Mostafa helped me out. Together we converted my blog over. He did a ton of work on my blog conversion and for that I am very thankful. I look forward to collaborating with him in the future.
Moving back to GitHub
Yes, I'm hosting my blog repo on GitHub again. While I've been a user of GitLab for many years, and vastly prefer it for private projects, GitHub is where most the open source communities I'm involved in lives. Time to come back.
We'll be making changes in the days to come. Some things we'll be doing:
- Add page transitions like what Amanda has on her blog.
- Increase the accessibility of the design.
- Change the front page hero panel in some way.
- Write more articles!