Yet another little corner of the web

Random thoughts and experience, committed to electrons

Long Overdue Website Update Complete

I’ve had a couple of domains for quite a few years now and have been hosting websites on them of some description since I got them. Over time my requirements and importantly the time, energy and enthusiasm I have available to maintain them has changed. I haven’t been a care-free uni student for well over a decade now and other interests and responsibilities now demand time I’d once happily devote to them.

For a long time I’ve had a Drupal website. I say, “had” rather than “maintained” as for a large portion of that time the site was running on a rather out-dated version of Drupal. A necessity to migrate to a new host gave me a kick to update, avail myself of a hosts automation and try and stay on top of security updates. Whilst I did manage to update, coalescing the content into one site in the process, it was obvious that Drupal had changed quite a lot. The theme I was happy with no longer seemed to be compatible and the management interface had changed quite a bit, requiring me to relearn how to drive it. In parallel with this I wanted to provide a RSS feed for my site. To do this I’d need to enable yet more Drupal modules adding yet more bits to update.

My use of a CMS like Drupal was born from a desire to move away from hand rolling my entire site and to provide an interface to add content that wasn’t tied to my main PC. It turns out that the web interface for authoring content was OK for relatively simple text articles, but adding images and other content was a bit of a pain and I found that I didn’t really write much away from my main PC. Since I moved from static websites, they’ve seen a bit of a revival with many frameworks being developed to enable static sites to be generated from content written in some simple mark-up and templating. These provide the advantages that I was seeking from the CMS solutions but with much lower security implications.

So after getting some recommendations from friends, a bit of playing and some effort migrating the content, I now have a website created with Hugo. So far I’ve had a very positive experience. I’ve found Hugo to provide a very good set of “getting started” guides that has dramatically eased the process of getting a site up and running with it. The ability to easily host a local copy to test changes before publishing has been a real bonus. As I am happy with SSHing into one of my machines at home and using Vim, I can still update the website from almost as many places that I could have with a CMS. I should also get around to using git on the source for my site, enabling me to track my changes far better and enabling options for automation. Maybe soon…

So, I’m looking forward to a future with far less update notifications and am actually finding a little enthusiasm to actually write some content. Hopefully this will result in some interesting posts in the new year…

27 Dec 2018