Hello World

March 3, 2018

Hello World!(again). I used to be a semi-active blogger many years ago when I was a Flash developer. Like most folks back then (and even now) I used Wordpress. My blog was more of a note to self but it was relatively popular because of the news aggregator the Flash community used. (Un)like most folks I didn’t keep the software up to date and paid the price. At the time I simply took down the site and figured I’d back up the content at some point. Alas that never happened and I toasted the server having never backed up my content.

So much has happened since then and there have been a lot of things I wanted to blog about. In the interim I tried posting on LinkedIn, writing (never publishing) things on Medium or simply writing my thoughts in a notebook. I didn’t like LinkedIn because it’s not open, I don’t go in LinkedIn as often and it just never really caught on. I read a lot of content on Medium but using it as a content platform didn’t work. I didn’t like the idea of my notes “trapped” in Medium and I write for myself anyway not the likes.

Fast forward a whole lot and I started thinking about blogging again because of the revamp of the company website. The Wepala team has grown and we’ve had the opportunity to work on great projects (WFC for the win!) so why not share? This time around, I figured I’d choose my platform carefully. Things that I kept in mind:

  1. I don’t like the idea of my content being “stuck” on a site
  2. I wanted a platform that makes it easy to republish across LinkedIn, Medium etc
  3. I know I write long posts
  4. I get ideas for posts at odd times so posting in a specific platform was a major reason why I didn’t blog as often as I could
  5. I didn’t want to lose my content like the last time

One of our team members Marcus mentioned that he uses a static generator site. I looked into it and I really liked the idea of the blog just being a simple static site. I settled on Hugo since it promises to be fast, it seemed easy enough to setup and use, and I’ve been learning Golang so I figured I can modify things if I need to.

Pros (so far):

  1. Very easy to install
  2. I really like being able to check my site into a repo (i.e. content is backed up!)
  3. Being able to easily run the blog on my local means I can write posts without having an internet connection
  4. I like the ease of writing in an editor of my choosing (vs a web RTE )
  5. Templates are easy to find and install

Cons (so far)

  1. Figuring out how to create a static page that used the variables available to templates was harder that I thought it would be. After some searching and disappointment I realized I could create the page as a content and give it a type and specify a layout without there being an archetype
  2. The templating hierarchy can get complicated pretty quickly.

Synopsis

I really like it generally. We’re probably going to use this for the company website and a few other sites we are currently working on. I’m already thinking of ways we can add a few things to make it a bit more user friendly so we can use this on client projects (maybe a desktop app that makes it easy to clone hugo sites, run hugo etc). I’m also going to get content from my old website in here via the Wayback machine so that things will not be so bare…