September 18, 2013

I’ve been thinking for a while about moving my simple web site and blog to a different platform. I’m currently paying to host everything on a traditional hosting service. Ten years ago, this was really the only option if you wanted buy a domain and put a web site out there (there was also self hosting with dynamic DNS, but I was never brave enough to open up my home network). Now, we have so many options that it would be difficult to list them all. We have “cloud” hosts like Azure and AWS. We have developer-friendly hosts like Heroku. GitHub can even host your static pages (more on that later). Most of these cloud-based options can be utilized for free with limited traffic and processing power.

Back to GitHub. With a combination of Jekyll and GitHub Pages, you can host a static site or blog for free on GitHub. You can even have your custom domain point there. The simplicity of this solution is appealing to me. There is no database, no server-side code, and no server configuration or complexity. You just have a bunch of static files in a special Git repository. For dynamic content (such as a blog), you create markdown files that will get converted to static html by Jekyll. The added bonus is that your site is served up as static content, eliminating time consuming server side processing on each request. Anyway, I’ve yet to pursue this path, but it’s the most appealing option at this time.

As for this blog… Given the rise of social networks in the past few years, I’m not sure that “blogging” things is the best use of time for me. The original intent of this blog was to share things with family and friends, but that function has been replaced by better tools. So, I’d expect that new blog posts will be infrequent.