An aspiring software craftsman journey, By Mahmoud Ben Hassine
First things first, I wish you a happy new Year 2015! May this year be full of success, happiness and good health for all of us
One of my resolutions for this year was to move my blog from WordPress to another static blog generator which would be free, hackable and easy to use. Why moving from WordPress? Well, mainly for three reasons:
So why should I pay WordPress if I can use an alternative service with similar features (if not with more features) for free?!
In this post, I would like to share with you my experience of moving my blog from WordPress to a completely free, beautiful and powerful alternative.
I was impressed by the number of static blog generators out there after checking https://staticsitegenerators.net/.
After several prototypes, I have decided to use jekyll. I have already used jekyll to generate static documentation and websites for frameworks I have developed (namely Easy Batch and Easy Rules), but I’ve never used it to generate a blog.
Since I have already successfully used to the tool, my choice has been quickly made. The most interesting point is that GitHub pages are powered by Jekyll, and since GitHub is providing free hosting service, my choice has been reinforced!
To be honest, I am not the guy with high skills in web design So when it comes to web design, I tend to use a pre built theme from Twitter Bootstrap. There are hundreds of web design frameworks out there, but I was always happy with bootstrap so I didn’t changed my habit.
Combined with Font Awesome, you can have a really nice looking UI in no time.
I have used the blog example from Twitter Bootstrap and introduced some customizations. Here, unlike using WordPress, I have total control over HTML, CSS and JS.
Another important point about embedding code snippets it that jekyll integrates very well with GitHub gists. You simply have to add a line with the gist’s id and you’re done.
Disqus, of course. One of the most used social discussion thread manager out there, for free!
The steps to follow are detailed here, it couldn’t be easier, really.
Google analytics to the rescue, it’s free and simply awesome. Personally, it covers all of my needs in terms of stats so I did not looked around for another analytics service.
There are tools provided by Jekyll to import blog data from WordPress. In my case, I preferred the manual solution since I didn’t have huge content to migrate.
The combo Jekyll + GitHub pages + Disqus + Google Analytics + Twitter Bootstrap + Font Awesome is really a great solution to build a completely free blog which is beautiful, customizable and powerful.