New Blog is Live
I finally got tired of hacking Wordpress and decided it was time for a change. My site has always essentially been static. I don't need a database or the ability to switch themes and use plugins. I'm the only author and the content doesn't change more than once a day (usually once a week). So, I scrapped WordPress entirely and wrote my own blog in Node. It only took me about a day of real hacking to get it up and running.
The blog itself is a simple Node app with the Express toolkit. For markup I'm using Jade, a refreshingly clean template engine. The blog posts themselves are just HTML on disk with some adjacent JSON metadata. ie: the simplest thing that could possibly work. No databases are involved. Just in memory caching of on disk text files. When I want to post something I just drop in a new file and restart the node process (takes less than 1 second). I suppose I could write some sort of visual posting interface if I wanted to, but no need to complicate things rith now.
The style of the site is custom. I designed it to have a bit of a retro feel while remaining clean. You can see the tag chart in the sidebar borrows colors from the top header. The top font is Ostrich Sans from the League of Movable Type, using @fontface.
I originally chose to go with WordPress for my blog because of the many themes available, but finally decided they are all way too configurable or just plain crap. And the markup is always atrocious. I wanted something neat and clean, so I had to go custom.
I built the UI of the site on top of Twitter's Bootstrap CSS framework which gives me a nice clean grid to work with, consistent vertical spacing, and responsive behavior if you view it on a mobile device. Yes, there is no special mobile theme. You get the exact same content on all devices, but with a layout tuned to your needs. As a mobile developer I am adamant that we shouldn't have two versions of any site. Just make it adjust dynamically.
I hope you enjoy the new design. Please give me feedback on Twitter.
posted March 17th, 2012