Hello World

It’s alive!

After a sleepless night, several gallons of tears and dozens of hours spent browsing stackoverflow, my new blog is now live 🌈

I’m not exactly new to blogging, but this is the first time I’m wandering away from Wordpress. Oh boy, that was difficult.

Why would I do that?

It all came down to one of my dearest colleague ranting about Medium. I had just wrote my first Medium post (and was pretty pleased with myself), when he told me:

I like your post, but why would anyone pay to read blog posts that could be found somewhere else, without any added value to the reading experience?

Admittedly, he’s a grumpy old man, but as I’m not too fond of the new Medium paywall either, I thought he had a point.

Anyway, I had wanted to create a “professional” blog for ages, and thought that my 3 months of consecutive programming might be enough to create a “real” blog, away from traditional CMS.

Looking back, I may have bitten more than I could chew. No regrets though, the learning experience was well worth it.

How I did it

Initially, I tried to set up a blog through Hugo, because I had read somewhere that their loading time was exceptionally fast, and (let’s be honest) because their templates were stunning.

However, I failed miserably. It seemed that whatever I did, my Cloud9 environment refused to accept Homebrew.

My ego a little bruised, I looked up alternatives and found another static-site generator: Jekyll.

  • Good news: it’s in Ruby! I can finally grasp what’s happening under the hood 🙌 Hugo, on the other hand, is written in Go and therefore looks like gibberish to the beginner that I am.
  • Bad news: Jekyll seems a bit ouf of fashion, and most resources about it are somewhat dated. Most templates or blog posts are based on earlier versions of Jekyll, therefore I encountered a couple of version issues.

The biggest difficulty arose when I tried escaping the dry Minima default Jekyll template. Apparently, there are some layout naming issues between templates and Github pages that made transitions difficult.

A bit lost, I tweaked my _layout and _includes a lot, heavily drawing inspiration from Ryan Kozak and Laura Tebben’s public repositories (thank god for public repositories), and finally managed to install the Hydeout theme 🍾

My next challenge will be to buy and set up my first domain (bye bye ugly github.io domain name, you will be missed) …but this is for another day.