Gettin' JAMstacky

WordPress has been a wonderful CMS for my website these past few years. I’ve enjoyed working with it, I’ve learned a ton from it, and I’ve developed a deep respect for its power. For the right website, it’s a fantastic publishing tool, and I’m sure it will be for years to come. However, at least for this website, my time with it has sadly come to an end. I just don’t need most of the features it provides on my small personal blog/portfolio, and it’s been time to upgrade to a better hosting situation for a while.

This migration is honestly more about the hosting than the software itself, and it was a bit of a struggle to find a blog engine that I could migrate my data to easily and keep a good portion of the features and compatibility I’m used to. I finally settled on Hexo as a solid choice of software, with hosting and domain registration by Cloudflare. This means I don’t have to have a “server” per se for my website, since it’s pre-built and hosted as static files on the Cloudflare CDN using Cloudflare Pages, and there’s no more need to worry about login security for the admin area since that is now essentially a GitHub repository.

It’s also a nice reduction in cost: my total cost for maintaining this website now is a little over $8 per year for the domain registration. At the previous host, I was paying $12-13 for the domain, $40 for the hosting, and $9 for an SSL certificate (yes, even now with Let’s Encrypt offering certificates for free and plenty of hosts partnering with them specifically for that, my old hosting service is charging extra for the “privilege” of basic encryption).

You might be wondering: what exactly is JAMstack? I hinted at this earlier, but it is basically a methodology for building websites that centers around doing the actual page generation before deploying a website so that static assets can be cached and distributed around the world for fast response times. It’s the opposite of the dynamic approach that software like WordPress uses, where pages are generated on the fly by a dedicated web server as they’re requested. Of course, pre-building a website can make highly dynamic content a little trickier to serve if you’re used to the old-fashioned way of doing things, but that’s not a concern for this site.

It’s an exciting time, and I’ve got more updates I’m looking forward to sharing soon. The next one is just a git push away! (and of course a bunch of writing, proofreading, editing, and so on and so forth…)