Two weeks ago, I started planning my new website. My main constraints were:

  1. Had to be static, since my current hosting (included with my domain) is very limited in functionality, and I don’t feel the need to contract a proper space for now.
  2. Couldn’t rely on any service that would serve undesired ads. This cut off a few otherwise-fine services, but I mainly like it when my spaces render the same with/without AB+.

Keeping this in mind, I started checking around for both a site template and a blogging platform.

First, I tried to integrate a Tumblr feed (using a call from their API) to pull html content into a Bootstrap site. After some messing, I went with HTML5Boilerplate instead. It was fun to figure out how to style the posts (since their tags aren’t documented anywhere), and I also learned a thing or two about mobile-first in the process. Ultimately, however, this wasn’t flexible enough for me, so it was scrapped. I did later a find a very good write-up on how to do this (would’ve saved me some work).

Next, I looked at Jekyll, but the Ruby base was a turn-off. I liked the concept, though, and it made me wonder “is there a python-based Jekyll equivalent?” I’ve been mucking around with python a lot lately, so it felt natural to go with something py-based.

One google search later, I was looking at Pelican. Except for the fact that I didn’t know a lick of ReST, it was dreamy. I like how intuitive it was to install and configure, although their Getting Started section has some things out of date (notably using SimpleHTTPServer, which is now called http.server).

I was very pleased to find that someone had made a Bootstrap3 theme for Pelican, so I grabbed it and ran. The bootstrap theme I ended up going with is a diff merge of Thomas Park‘s Readable and United themes (the readability and some touches from the former with the style of the latter), terribly named Readunited for my own amusement.

I still have to mess with a handful of settings, but this feels like a decent MVP for a personal blog/website.


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