I’m confused: As soon as I think I know what’s best for my site, a new idea pops up that convinces me otherwise. It was just two months ago that I thought I wasn’t being dynamic enough. I wanted easier editing. I wanted more freedom. I wanted efficiency and performance. But somehow, after painstakingly and almost completely rewriting my site’s backend over the course of a few weeks, I changed my mind. Which, at first, was frustrating. I really would have liked to push these changes, to make the most of databases and the Toxi tagging scheme online, but I didn’t. Because something better came up.
But what would be better than a dynamic, SQL-based custom blogging platform? A completely static site, that’s what. I’d heard a bit about Jekyll, and decided that this was the best direction for the site. After a surprsingly painless Windows Setup and a few days of redesigning, here we are. I’ve overhauled it all, starting from scratch to get a good idea of how Jekyll works. My impressions? Pretty awesome. The site is still dynamic to a certain extent, but now all the dynamic generation is taken care of by my computer rather than a webserver. The generated static pages are uploaded straight to the server.
So what’s the advantage? Performance is one of the main reasons why anyone would switch to a static site. But this isn’t a great motivator for me, as I’m using the fairly slow free host Heliohost. I could switch to a free static host like GitHub Pages but then I would lose the ability to mess around with PHP projects on this domain. So because I’m a bit cheap, I’m sticking with what I’ve got. Which means that in my case, using Jekyll has primarily been and will keep being a great learning experience in Markdown, Liquid templating and SASS. Because everyone needs a bit of SASS.