3 September 2014
This website was originally developed on the MEAN stack (for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, check out this post). While MEAN is really great for creating data-driven websites, it’s definitely overkill for primarily static websites… like mine. The only dynamic content I had were the blog posts. However, I’d argue that blog posts aren’t necessarily dynamic after creation, since they are rarely modified afterwards.
I wanted to leverage the best of MEAN though, so I set up a database to store my blog posts, created the REST API, developed a separate admin interface (with my own rich-text editor) to write posts, added security so that only I could create posts, and so on. It was really great learning how to build everything out, but it quickly became unwieldy. And I spent more of my time worrying about keeping the admin interface secure rather than blogging (although I doubt someone would want to hack my little website).
As a result, I turned to Jekyll, a Ruby-based blog-aware, static site generator. In just a few hours, I had a full-fledged site that allowed me to add blog posts by simply creating Markdown files. It’s also much more secure, since there’s no admin interface to hack.
GitHub Pages provides free hosting directly from a GitHub repository and provides a nice set of instructions to help get your site online very quickly. You can also check out my source code to see how I set up this site. I encourage you to check both resources out! You’ll be up and running very quickly!