Switching to Jekyll

17 Dec 2010

Wordpress has served me pretty well for over 5 years now, but it’s time for a change.

Over those 5 years, I’ve been writing less and less. I’m not entirely sure of the reason, but I think it just comes down to friction. Editing text in a browser sucks, I had to log in, ran into layout problems a lot with simple things like code highlighting and inserting an image…

Anyway, I’ve had my eye on Jekyll since it was announced, and I finally decided to try it out. I haven’t even completed my first post yet, and I’m already glad that I did.

  • I can post straight from Vim.
  • My blog is version controlled with Git in plaintext files, not tucked away in a gigantic database
  • It’s fast. Seriously, static html vs php feels noticably faster even on a local system.

  • I can extend it with simple Ruby… writing a Wordpress plugin is a pain in the ass (like most things PHP).

If I can get Haml working as well, I’ll be the happiest blogger on earth.

One potential downside for people who just want to get a site up quickly without a big design effort is that (as far as I know) there isn’t a central repository of free themes available. I borrowed this CSS from Dan Hixon’s ├╝berduper. I couldn’t find a license, but it is in a public GitHub repository so I hope he doesn’t mind sharing.

I haven’t migrated all my WordPress posts over yet, but I’ll work on getting the most useful or popular ones back online when I have some time.

In conclusion, if you haven’t tried Jekyll yet or want something a little lighter than your current blogging engine, definitely give it a shot!

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