21 Apr 2020

What I want from my new blog

In my last post, I mentioned that I want to finally migrate my blog away from Blogger. After 10 years, my blog is looking a bit dated, and could do with a refresh. I am also keen to reduce my dependence on Google products.

I thought it would be interesting to blog about the process of moving to a self-hosted blog, with regular updates abou this project. This post is going to detail my requirements for the blog migration project.

Requirements

  • Allow me to self-host my blog. This will probably be on Azure initially, but I want the freedom to host wherever I want.
  • Make use a static site generator (SSG) to generate HTML pages. The SSG should be:
    • Built using a programming language I'm interested in learning - Python/Golang or Rust
    • Open source
  • Have ability to draft blog posts in Markdown
  • Make use of a blog template that uses minimal, vanilla JavaScript for progressive enhancement where required
  • Allows me to integrate various little apps (like my Reading List) and dashboards into the site
  • Removes third party dependencies, such as:
    • Google Spreadsheets to power the Reading List
    • FeedBurner for RSS
    • The Google Search integration
  • Is fully accessible for screen readers and other assistive technologies (as verified by an accessibility audit).
  • Does not use any analytics or tracking packages (while I have removed my own Google Analytics integration from this blog some time ago, Blogger has a basic default integration with Google Analytics that cannot be removed)
  • Use an SSL certificate on my blog - possibly from Let's Encrypt
  • Allows me to easily include code snippets
  • The migration will allow me to maintain what little SEO I've picked up from Google over the years - basically, I'll need some way of updating any legacy URLs to point to any updated links.
  • Allows me the freedom to explore the RSS club or Indieweb

As part of my plans to revamp my blog (and stave off boredom during the lockdown), I'm planning on blogging weekly updates on the blog migration project. The next installment will be on selecting an SSG to use.

What I'm Reading

Eureka Street

I'm re-reading Robert McLiam Wilson's classic novel about Belfast during the IRA ceasefire.

Mad Max: Fury Road as a Sequel to Brokeback Mountain, really

An unexpected gem of a film review. I loved it!

Why I’m leaving Elm

A tale of open source woe from the Elm programming language. Scratch Elm from the list of programming languages I'm interested in learning. The discussion about this article on the Orange Hell Site is also worth reading.

The WHO v coronavirus: why it can't handle the pandemic

A long read on the Guardian about the World Health Organisation and why it is struggling with the Coronavirus pandemic. The author's interview with the Guardian's Today in Focus podcast team is also available.

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