I Redesigned My Blog

Published Reading Time ~2 min Filed Under blog

I just finished redesigning my blog and moving it from one backend provider to another. Another post will follow with the technical discussion of the steps involved, but for this post I wanted to focus on the philosophical considerations.

Why You Shouldn’t Do This

To start with, we shouldn’t you do the same thing. In a word, time. I’ve spent numerous evenings over the last two four months to get this done. This has proved far more than a simple weekend project. If you’re time available for your blog is limited (which it almost always is), and your blogging system isn’t broken at some fundamental level, your time is probably better spend creating content (i.e. writing blog posts) than rebuilding your backend.

Why I Did It Anyway

Ultimately, I had three goals that drove me to move blog back ends:

  1. I wanted to be able to write new posts in Markdown,
  2. I wanted my blog to look the same as the rest of my site, and
  3. I wanted a backup of my blog.

Markdown

Personally, I discovered Markdown about five years ago and quickly fell in love. I started keeping personal and professional notes, and one of my first projects posted to GitHub was to easily convert raw Markdown into HTML pages. Since I was writing elsewhere in Markdown, I wanted to write here in Markdown too.

Design

For design, I could either rework my Blogger theme to match what I’d done with the rest of the site, or I could move my blog over to the same backend I was using for the rest of my site. Blogger theme editing is a pain (mostly it’s too complex to do properly in the text area of a browser, and very hard to debug). I figured it would be easier to move over to the same theme I was using for the rest of my site. I still think that proved to be easier, but it did result in a significant update to the theme.

Old Design

Old Design

New Design

New Design

Back Up

Before, I never really had a back up of my blog contents. Google didn’t seem ready to shut down Blogger, but there’s always that fear, at a low level anyway, in the back of my mind. Now, I have a plain text back up of everything I’ve written to my blog.

Next Steps

Now that it’s done, I hope to focus more on writing. I also hope to move over a few notes that I have written elsewhere in Markdown to the blog. There are a few updates still needed to the theme, including re-adding comments (completed December 29, 2016). But I very much like the look. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


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