Time to dust off the old blog-o-phone again, I think.
A little while ago, I moved my blog to a blogging engine of my own design and creation. And all was well and good. But after a while, I started to find little things I didn’t like in my original solution, and gradually the entire codebase devolved into a functioning, but crufty, relic. And I spent far more time working on the engine than actually writing any posts, which is toxic for a blog, especially since 90% of code changes won’t result in any obvious visual changes.
So I started looking around for a solution that didn’t need me to maintain the engine itself, but still had the features I wanted - namely:
- Markdown (or Textile in a pinch, though I still prefer Markdown)
- Complete control over page layout.
- Version controllable
- Ability to serve it from my own server a plus, but not a requirement
After a little searching, and based tangentially off moggers87’s recommendation of the very similar hyde, I settled on Jekyll. It satisfies the first two requirements easily, and the third and fourth were satisfied together by my decision to use Github Pages to host it (another nice result of that is that you can see the source of any post exactly as I wrote it). Since the output is just HTML and CSS, I could also have hosted it on my server, but I was going to use git to track it anyway, so choosing Pages killed two birds with one stone.
The much more relaxed visual style was born out of my growing distaste for the old yellow/black colour-scheme, and my desire to keep the style as simple as possible this time round.
To sum things up: just from having imported my old posts (mostly copy-and-paste, since they were already in Markdown on my old engine), and now from having written this post, I can safely say that (as the title may well have already told you), Jekyll is an absolute joy to use. If you haven’t tried it, I really can’t recommend enough that you go and do so right away!