My Current Workflow

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I thought I would write a bit on my current workflow using a $5 digital ocean droplet, Jekyll for writing and publishing and firebase hosting for serving this site.

I had thought about using WordPress but once you try blogging with a static website it’s really hard to go back to using a CMS like WordPress and worry about plugins and caching and security risks. I had been hacked before using WordPress and let me tell you it’s a pain in the butt to try and get un-hacked.

When I use Jekyll and static sites all this goes away. WordPress might be easier to use as you can blog and write from pretty much anwyhere but it comes with a lot of overhead I don’t really need. My posts are text and some images and so I really don’t need all the extras that WordPress provides.

Did I mention that I get free hosting? I could have an entirely free site if I opted out of the digital ocean server and just use my local computer but I like the fact that all my stuff is just on one server that I can login to and use any computer rather than having to sync files across computers. Also, the servers are fast which cuts down on the build times.

If I was to complain about using Jekyll, it’s the time it takes to “build” this site. With almost 800 posts here and lots of images it takes about 15 seconds to build which isn’t bad at all but if I’m to continue with this site the times will get longer and longer over time. For now 15 seconds isn’t a big deal and is an excuse for a coffee break.

Once my site is built, the other thing that takes a bit of time is uploading the site to firebase. It’s gotten better over the years as now it “hashes” the files to figure out what files are new and what files need to be uploaded but this take time to do so you want to be sure your site is the way you want it before you send your updated site.

I could actually serve the site from my digital ocean server but that requires setting up web server software on the server itself and except for the wait times with firebase it’s kind of hard to beat having your site served on Google’s servers for free.

This isn’t to say I might (and probably will) switch things up over time. I would love a replacement for Jekyll to speed up build times and there are advantages to having a wordpress site but for now I’m liking the setup I have.

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