Redesigned Web Site

This was a long time in the making.

The original website was built in Drupal, a pretty heavyweight CMS in PHP. My problem with this format was that it took a lot of learning to get it up and working, and while powerful it required a lot of maintenance.

Updates, security issues, changing passwords, managing databases, etc... Also, this was nothing I used daily. The process for submitting new posts was complicated. Given my infrequent posting schedule, I found I was forgetting how everything was supposed to work together. I was unhappy with the look and feel of the site, but trying to modify heavy weight modules would take more time than I had to devote.

I concluded starting from scratch with a PHP framework was a better course of action than sticking with Drupal. However, this was easier said than done, and months of intermittent coding brought little progress toward a finished web site.

Finally I stumbled onto Jekyll on some blog post or another. Jekyll is a static file blog generator: a very simple way to write a web blog that relies on the blogger knowing a bit of HTML. It spits out a site's worth of raw html files to be served staticly--that's to say there's no database component, and all the script processing occurs during the initial file generation.

I followed up on Jekyll on a Tuesday and less than a week later I pretty much have a new site.

There is some functionality missing—no comments, no ratings— but people weren't using those anyway. I may add some of that stuff back in later, but for right now this seems okay for my needs.

If you're looking to put up a similar site but don't want to play with Wordpress, Drupal, or the frameworks I'd reccomend giving Jekyll a look.