I have been blogging since long. It has been years. And in these years, I have used many a systems to move my blogs. From one domain to another, from one host to another and have swapped a few blogging platforms. My first blog was in 2005 when I used a website which allowed me to create free blogs. Then I moved to blogger, for some time. There were other sites which would run free hosting plans with barebones hosting system with cPanel-n-all and kept you running on free plan if you shared their links and got your friends to signup or see ads. It was with these free hosts when I was introduced to Drupal. I tried and installed Wordpress for others too. But I always liked Drupal more. That, however, has changed.
Repetition is boring. And Tiring.
I’d tell you the truth. Though I am a PHP developer myself, I have not gone too deep into either wordpress or Drupal. But the way you set these things up - it’s time consuming and after a while it gets boring. Not only boring, but also a wastage of time. That’s because you know the process. You also know that it can be scripted. Shared hosting service-providers do not let you run custom scripts to migrate sites. They ask a hefty price for it. You do not want to run your own VPS for every Wordpress and Drupal site that you want to create because then updation, backup, security - they all fall on your head and they are not exciting for someone acting as a system administrator.
Someone made GitHub and he also made Pages!
We all love GitHub for various reasons - as a fun place to meet cool people. Collaborate on open-source and private projects and sometimes as the place where we find solutions to why our code was failing (and raising issues for the same). Off late most companies are moving their documentation over to GitHub so that the community (or more accurately - their users) could find and fix faults and fill in the gaps. But it also the place where a number of people create their websites. If you have noticed, at all, there has been a sudden rise in
<XYZ>.github.io style sites. A lot of them are personal websites.
This is because GitHub allows you to host a static website for free using their pages system. The system is powered by something called Jekyll One can easily find good themes for it. So how is it good?
Don’t forget the coffee
Technology is supposed to help you. GitHub pages does that. As far as small blogs are concerned, Wordpress and Drupal are just too cumbersome. Here is how GitHub pages helps:
- There is no installation for anything. Fork a repo, rename it. Done.
- All configuration is in one file. Edit it, save it and your site title is updated.
- It’s secure. The site that GitHub pages builds finally is static. No SQLi there! No passwords to remember either.
- No DB to maintain - just write the post, save it and it’s done. You do not have to worry about which database you are using, how fast it’s going to work. Backups, restorations, security. Nope! Not one of them.
- You write in markdown. Which is pretty cool because you do not leave the keyboard. Markdown is just lot easier to write than HTML. Even without the fancy Rich-Text-Toolbar at the top of your editor.
- Don’t you worry about traffic. Your site is being handled by GitHub and that means, it can handle a very large number of concurrent visits without going down!
- And yes, you also get to host the site with your own custom domain (like this ).
- You edit and save your file on github directly. No one DB backups (like already said).
- You can backup your entire site and posts by just a
git clone. Zip it up and save it on Google Drive or Dropbox - there you have a secure backup of your site. But you won’t need it because it’s already there on GitHub anyway.
- If you are collaborating content, you setup the security by just adding collaborators to the repo. Make a branch and give them only what they need to see, if you wish. No more setting up of roles either! For a personal blog, this won’t even matter.
- If you want to keep the entire thing private, just make the repository on github private.
Given that, I see no reason why anyone on this planet with a sane mind would go for a bulky system like Wordpress or Drupal for simple blogs. You can sip a cup of coffee everytime you save minutes away from blog-maintenance hassels. ;-)