Lessons from Jekyll and Github pages

It's been about a week now since I moved from WordPress to Jekyll/Github, and I'm overjoyed with the results. The site is faster on the front end, simpler on the back end, and has made it a pleasure for me to blog again. I live in code revision systems, and the novely still hasn't worn off that I'm even blogging in one now!

That said, I've learned a couple of lessons:

  • If you're migrating from WordPress to Jekyll, be prepared to get comments from people that you're spamming their aggregators. Unfortuantely, despite my best efforts to ensure the same GUID for each post (aka: the post permalink), some aggregators still saw them as new entries. Perhaps these don't trust GUIDs and calculate their own identifier for posts based on a hash or some other derived value. Lesson learned: warn your readers before any major structural changes, such as changing from a CMS to staic pages!

  • Do a jekyll build locally before committing any template changes. I realised the reasons why my blog wasn't updating over the last few days was due to a stray Liquid for loop that was preventing the pages from being rebuilt. Fortunately, Github also emailed me letting me know my site wasn't building, which was rather nice.

  • I'll admit, I do miss tag archives, just a little. For me, the convenience and fun with Jeykll more than outweighs it, and my server logs suggested almost nobody used them anyway. Still, if I continue to miss them, I'll eventually add another thing to my toolchain to generate them locally before pushing the whole site. We'll see.


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