If you’re reading this, and it looks pretty, that’s because I overhauled my entire blog design for this Hack Friday.
There were a few problems with my old blog, the most glaring of which was the fact that its style was based off of my landing page. While the layout and colors of the landing page are, I think, fairly interesting and effective, they do not lend themselves well to reading large blocks of text. The green on green is hard to read, the lines are too long, and a bunch of useless Wordpress crap appears in every post (unless you tell it not to).
I went with Wordpress when I decided to start an actual blog a few months ago mainly because I had never used it before - I wanted to learn how. That purpose has been served - I now feel confident that I could code up a dynamic site in Wordpress just fine (and in fact I have). However, there are a lot of problems with it logistically that I would rather not deal with.
Why should I have to compose blog posts in the Wordpress web interface? Why is it inserting
<br>s everywhere, even when I’m in the HTML editing view? Why does everything need to be stored in a database - it’s complicated to set up and slow. Why do I need to conform to Wordpress’s format when coding - shouldn’t the blog be a natural expression of my web design ability and creativity?
As such, I’m done with Wordpress as a personal blogging platform for now. Instead, I’m switching to Jekyll.
There have been many people talking recently about making the switch from Wordpress to Jekyll, and for good reason. Jekyll is not a CMS (content management system), but it is an easy way to modularize and compile your website while giving you complete control over, well, everything. And everything is incredibly simple.
To download Jekyll on Mac OSX, it was simply
gem install jekyll
from the command line. After creating the directories
_posts manually, it was a snap to compile my LESS to CSS, run
jekyll from a terminal to compile everything into the
_site directory, and then open the page up in Chrome.
jekyll --server can usually serve up your site locally for development purposes, but mine wouldn’t work for some reason related to the fact that I’m on a university wireless network (if you know why this would affect the jekyll server, tell me). This meant that I had to specify the full path to all of my CSS files in order for the post pages to be styled (because all my CSS is in the root directory, while the posts are not). Luckily this was incredibly easy to do by specifying a
url attribute in
Northside Cafe BLT was awesome, by the way.