10 Apr 2014
I was gonna make my own site, with CV and projects. No blog. Why it ended up with a blog (and without a CV) is a different story, I’ll tell it later. By the way, for the same reasons I couldn’t just use WordPress (I didn’t realise it back then, just wanted everything to be simple, and what is simpler than static pages?). But enough philosophy for today!
By far the hardest part is design. A professional developer has few options here:
I’ve done some pages by myself at the university, and remember the results quite well. So, I’ve chosen the third option. I wanted a clear and minimalistic theme, partly in attempt to follow the fashion (probably set by unix beards) and partly because I wouldn’t be able to accomodate a more elaborate template for mу needs.
I’ve spent a week before realising a simple idea:
For minimalism, ask minimalists.
I’ve found a theme I like (kind of). I still needed to do a lot of tuning (this job continues, and I have a feeling, that it will never end). Some sites to help with tuning:
Of course, static pages ought to be generated dynamically. The answer is Jekyll. There are other generators, but who cares — Jekyll is great! As for hosting, there are few options, the most reasonable ones:
Here is a good article: “Static website on S3, CloudFront and Route 53, the right way!”. One thing, which is missing:
s3cmd sync --delete-removed _site/ s3://BUCKET/
This command synchronises site with S3 bucket, and that’s all I need (“s3_website” failed to build on my Macbook). By the way, at first I tried to use my registrar’s DNS instead of Route 53. But performance tests showed, that DNS request takes about half of the total loading time. It spoiled my mood, so I decided, that 50c/month is affordable.
A Blog Without Comments Is Not a Blog (actually, I’ve never fully read this post, because the message is obvious to me, and it is boring to read about obvious things).
I wanted an open source solution, but it turned out, that there are not many options:
So, I decided to keep down my appetite (for a while) and use Disqus. But if I choose to migrate to a standalone solution at some point, I will use Digital Ocean to host it. They lack Amazon’s infrastructure, but they keep things simple, their droplets are very fast and, most importantly, much cheaper, than Amazon’s EC2. How can a startup beat allmighty Amazon in both price and performance?!
The end. This post is meant to show the big picture of what to do, and give hints to where to find the details. Hope, it helps.