This site has, once again, changed on the backend without noticably changing to the outside world (modulo a few different links). It’s now built with Hugo, which is yet another static site generator.

Why change? I hardly ever updated the site anyway, and so it seems like it would hardly be worth the work of switching everything over and learning a new thing. A bunch of reasons, as it turns out:

  1. I enjoy learning new things, especially techy things, and more especially if they might come in handy in the future. (See: this site, which has been through four or five different backends.)
  2. Let’s be honest; I was procrastinating on a bunch of things. Obviously that’s the best time to rewrite the website.
  3. (Now, some actual reasons.) Because I don’t update the website that often, Jekyll was getting annoying. Because Jekyll is a Ruby application, it seemed like every time I needed it my Ruby environment was somehow out of whack, or GitHub pages now needed a gem which needed to install, which means that I need to rebuild Nokogiri and figure out why it wasn’t working…and on and on. I read about Hugo on this Hacker News thread a few weeks back and it said one of the main advantages was that Hugo was a binary (it’s written in Go): just download it and it works.
  4. Hugo has some nice features: it’s much faster than Jekyll, and it has live-reload built in (which I’ve never used before, but is much easier than command-tabbing over to Firefox and then hitting command-R to reload). It’s like magic!

So after a bit of frustration having to do with the uglyurls setting, it’s up and running. (I was trying to keep all of the URLs the same, but ultimately I decided it was easier to use the defaults and set up a bunch of aliases, since I didn’t have that many pages anyway.) Switching to Hugo also gave me an opportunity to try out GitLab, which I’d been meaning to do for a while. GitLab Pages (who hosts this site now) has support for Hugo out of the box, and running a Hugo site on GitHub pages takes some hassle, it seemed.

GitLab Pages also lets you set up SSL for your domain, which, thanks to Let’s Encrypt, is free and relatively easy! So now my site has a fancy little green lock in the URL bar.

So that’s the new site, for now. And though I say this every time I update the site, I would like to start writing more here. I’ve made that slightly easier on myself this time around by removing all links to this blog from the main site. That way, if it turns out I don’t write here, I won’t feel so guilty. If I do, so much the better!

Tagged: news