Time to get started with a new site for xidis.net. The previous version was zapped by the bankruptcy of TextDrive. I had a lifetime hosting plan and after multiple bankruptcies, the company folded and all the server assets and servers went away very quietly and I missed migrating it to a new platform.

This time I decided to use Amazon’s S3 web hosting because it’s practically free for static sites, scales well and has easy connection to Amazon’s CloudFront content distribution network (CDN). While a most of the time we think of blogging platforms as complex software with databases, like Wordpress. I wanted a much simpler approach and I was OK with it being a bit of a hacker experience. GitHub Pages has a pretty cool blogger framework called Jekyll that will generate all the static pages using a template mechanism based on Liquid. There’s also a very nice command line package for upload static content to S3. If that wasn’t easy enough, Daniel Whyte has a great write up on how to put it all together. Again, how could it get any easier. I also wanted to be able to edit it from multiple platforms (mac, iPad, etc..). Easy enough, just drop the files into Dropbox or Google drive and they’re sync’d across all my devices. the only piece that’s missing is I need a shell on my mac to execute the upload process. Not too bad, I can write anywhere but have to return to my mac to publish. Might be a good thing because letting writing sit for a while and be proofed better is a good thing.

Over time I hope to improve the looks. The basic Jekyll template isn’t too bad but it could use some smoothing out. Because it’s simple, improvements should be able to be done in small increments.