too many words by laura lemay

The "blog about the blog" blog post on the blog

I was going to allow myself one and only one post about the tech details for this blog that interests no one but other nerdy bloggers. And then I wrote 1000 words about it before the voice in my head that was yelling “SHORT POSTS. YOU WERE GOING TO DO SHORT POSTS” made me feel so guilty I stopped. Here is the shorter attempt.

The before times

For years this blog was in self-hosted Wordpress, which I had found increasingly slow, complicated, and unwieldy. I’m sure there were lots of ways I could have made it faster, simpler, and uh, wieldy, if I had wanted to really work at it. But I got to the point where the maintenance felt like a chore and I wanted to try something else that was just simpler.

The middle times

I have had so many incomplete “get the blog into something simpler” attempts, including delusionally thinking I was going to write my own blog platform, and also a couple passes of delusionally thinking I knew enough CSS to do my own design by hand from scratch.

I started using Jekyll, the static site generator that powers github pages, during one of those attempts. At the time it was the most popular and best-supported SSG. It’s since become less popular (everyone loves Hugo now), but I didn’t want to start over over again with yet another language and framework and templating system and and and, so Jekyll it is.

After I realized my own CSS was not going to cut it I settled on the Lanyon theme. It has some minor changes (I’m capable enough at CSS to poke at an existing design) but I mostly used it as-is.

Sadly I never made far enough in any of these blog reboots to actually stop running Wordpress.


Finally I made it far enough into a blog reboot to where I am no longer running Wordpress.

The site is still Jekyll, and still Lanyon. It is definitely much simpler and more comfortable for me to maintain and to understand.

I use git locally and push to github as a backup, but I don’t deploy anything out of github or have any kind of CI/CD system. I have an old-school web host that runs apache, and I just build the site and then copy the files to that host with scp like I am a caveman straight out of 1997.