Website refresh

Hello !

As you may have noticed - this website looks different now ! Why is that ? I’ve not only changed the visual theme but also a lot of underlying infrastructure. Let’s start with describing the old setup and see where we can improve. The site previously ran on Nikola, was built on Travis and then pushed to Netlify, which I later changed to Github Pages. While it worked it had some issues of its own;

  1. Image galleries were hard to navigate and looked a bit out of place.
  2. The site was not rendering the main menu correctly on mobile devices.
  3. It was slow to build the site, especially on CI - it took 15 to 30 minutes for the CI run on travis to get the site deployed - not ideal for fast feedback
  4. Lack of previews for the work in progress - it was hard for me to set up a preview per branch, updated automatically.

All of the above, mixed with me having a bit of a time off, resulted in getting this site migrated to some new and exciting stack !

It now runs on Hugo and uses Netlify as the deployment target. I fixed all of the problems above and added some more niceties !

  1. I’m using Beautiful Hugo’s Gallery now - see this old post for an example
  2. This theme also makes the site mobile-friendly out of the box
  3. It takes 1-3 minutes for the full site deploy
  4. Previews just work :)
  5. No need to use custom Netlify sync script I wrote anymore, as Hugo is natively supported on Netlify
  6. Netlify supports TLS on multiple domains - you can now use as well as to reach this site :)

As for how the actual migration was done - it was a bit of work, as you can see in this PR. While I could migrate the content mostly automatically, I chose to actually use this opportunity to review all the posts manually ! This allowed me to spot and fix some additional issues, like broken links, editorial mistakes etc.

Overall I think this was worth it - the site is now more modern, the sources are smaller and it is fast to build. If you’re curious about the details - all the sources are here.

Happy blogging !

See also