For years I have been trying to maintain a blog using WordPress. And for years it has been one disaster after another. Today I said I was going to knock the rough edges off of my personal web site. So I began to go through the process of provisioning a VM on Digital Ocean, setting up LAMP, etc. During this I was venting my frustration in a Discord channel and someone suggested that I just use a static site generator. Now I’ve know about static site generators for some time and I’ve used static site hosts (Surge, Firebase). It wasn’t until today that I actually thought to use one.
I went in search of a static site generator that would let me use markdown to create posts, had good support for code highlighting, and that wasn’t difficult to use. I first considered just linking to DEV.to but I wanted something I could personalize more and have content other than blog posts. I looked into Gatsby and quickly found it was more than I wanted to deal with. Then I learned about Hugo. I had heard of Hugo but never installed by, or tried to use it.
After about 2 hours I had something up and going. It’s not everything I wanted but considering that I am not interested in maintaining a full blog engine, it’s at least 80% there. On to hosting. I used Firebase Hosting, because it’s free with a generous quota. And there is no charge to use your own domain. I didn’t try any others because Firebase worked so well the first time. So the combination of Hugo and Firebase Hosting works for now.
I’ll continue to look at other hosting services. If this blog gets popular I could exceed the free quota of Firebase easily. Until confronted with that happy problem I think this will work fine.
With the quarantine / lockdown, I haven’t been speaking as much. I need more venues to interact with people I would usually see at conferences and user groups. Blogging is one way I am pursuing. I don’t know if I’ll continue to DEV.to or just try and put everything here. My Twitch stream will relaunch soon. (I was going to do it on May 1 and then becoming a Microsoft MVP turned things upside down for a while.) YouTube is always an option. I still want to publish more e-books through LeanPub. I can now host Microsoft Teams meetings and since Eventbrite does not charge for free events, that’s an way to do some presenting as well. And of course, I’ll continue writing and recording Pluralsight guides and courses. But I am looking forward to the day we’ll have in person conferences again. Stay tuned!