March 13, 2017

Site Refresh

The Old Guard

I have run this site on a wide swath of different platforms. Back in the late 1990’s I discovered Drupal, and it happily ran on that platform for many years. When their server melted down in 2005, I was fortunate enough to have some spare funds to chip in to the community effort to get new hardware.

That’s me there on the side. :)

Drupal Support 2005

I had a T1 run to my house for a few years (the whys and whatfors are a tale for a different post), and after that adventure was over I was starting to tire of managing a full blown CMS for a site that really was nothing more than a small, in size and traffic, blog. For a time I shifted to a hand written HTML site. The hosting was piggy backed off of various providers that were either cheap or free. I even ran the site as a MediaWiki instance for a while.

Meet the new HTML, same as the old HTML

Eventually I discovered static html generators. My first encounter involved Pelican. I was entertaining the notion of learning Python at the time, so it seemed like a good thing to play with. The site sat on a small VPS (I think a $5/month Digital Ocean VM) for a long time. The amount of time spend on tending the server was significantly greater than the amount writing blog posts, however. I tinkered around with Pelican for a while though, and even learned some Python along the way.

At some point I noticed that GitHub was a thing, and it wasn’t too much later that I discovered GitHub Pages. The little Digital Ocean VM vanished, and my Pelican powered blog shifted over to GitHub. It was looking like I was going to need to learn Ruby, so I shifted to Jekyll, since GitHub Pages supported it natively. Thankfully the Ruby requirements faded, but I kept the site as a GitHub Jekyll site for a couple years.

What this blog needs is more cloudbell

Realizing it was important to learn about running systems and providing services using the AWS environment, I decided to shift the site again. This time it’s served up via CloudFront, and backed by S3. I also switched to a new static site generator, Hugo. AWS is a new thing to learn, and so is Go. It also helps that Hugo seems to line up a little better to the way I want to think about working with a website.

Now I just need to start writing some actual content. :)

© Sean Johnson 2017

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