Perfection Kills

by kangax

Exploring Javascript by example

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Moving from Wordpress to Github Pages

Moving from Wordpress to Github Pages (and Jekyll) is the best thing that ever happened to this blog. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while and finally found some time over these holidays.

Jekyll is a static site generator, and Github Pages allow for seamless hosting of its content. I’ve been using it on for couple years now; once you get familiar with the worklow, it’s simple and straightforward.

If you mainly care about content and enjoy minimalism, Jekyll/gh-pages is just a perfect combo that doesn’t get in a way and lets you focus on writing.

Pros (vs. Wordpress)

  • Simple and familiar workflow via Git & Github
  • Quick and easy updates (takes few seconds to change, commit, push)
  • Can add/update content while offline (thanks to Git, of course)
  • Simple formatting via Markdown or HTML (know exactly how text will be formatted and displayed)
  • All content is in clear text form, easily accessible (not hidden somewhere deep in the database)
  • All assets — images, JS, CSS, etc. — are easily added/accessible (no need to upload to wordpress or FTP to server or keep in Dropbox, etc.)
  • No need for constant wordpress updates & blog backups (in case something goes wrong)
  • Better security (simpler system means less attack vectors; wordpress was often hacked with viagra ads)
  • Higher stability (unrelated to Wordpress but rather my hosting provider; blog was down 72 mins (!) in the past month; github is much more stable, constantly improving uptime, adding CDN, etc.)
  • Easy contributions to site/content via Github’s Pull Requests and/or issues (although this one might be a bit of a stretch)

Cons (sort of)

  • Comments no longer work without Javascript (when using Disqus; the biggest downside)
  • You no longer “own” comments (when using Disqus; they’re stored in a “cloud”)
  • Github doesn’t run plugins (if you ever need to customize something; can be easily mitigated by pushing locally generated content)
  • Jekyll runs on Ruby, instead of Javascript — my preferred language (if you ever need to customize something; but Ruby is not PHP so it’s not all that bad)

Other improvements during move

  • Normalized presentation: code blocks, blockquotes, headers, font sizes, styles
  • Fixed broken images, links, demos
  • Collected all asset images in once place, smooshed them (saving ~500KB overall)
  • Made site responsive
  • Removed all the unnecessary crap (why was there twitter stream in footer again?)

Fun stats

Since starting in Aug 2007 — mostly wanting to share Prototype.js tutorials, tips, and scripts — I wrote 55 posts (worth 70,000 words). There’s been 914,000 visits and 1,160,000 pageviews. People left 1744 comments (most popular posts being Understanding delete, Javascript quiz, and Profiling CSS for fun and profit).

Here’s to the next 50 posts and a milion visits! :)

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