image/svg+xml Hilary B.Bisenieks
October 12, 2017

Migrating to Github and Jekyll: Why

Some months ago, I made the decision to migrate my website (this very thing that you’re reading right now) to Github Pages. This was, in large part, because I was bored and a bit fed up with my existing site.

I coded the first iteration of in 2009, writing it all in Notepad, which is Not A Great Way. But I was young, then, and not indoctrinated into the Church of Vim (don’t @ me). It was small and kinda lousy, with a table-based layout. If I wanted to update a menu entry, I had to change it in every single page.

Eventually, I re-wrote the whole structure of the site, using PHP to make it somewhat modular. I’d already ditched the tables in favor of divs, but now if I wanted to update a menu item, it was a matter of changing and re-uploading only a single file. I was basically in just the right place for Jekyll, my templates being a series of include statements, pulling in all the little snippets of code as desired for my blog widgets and sidebar items.

That worked. Basically. But I had occasional security issues: random extra pages getting dropped onto my FTP server, seemingly at random, that got the site flagged for malware on several occasions. Which is Not Great.

And I wanted to redesign the thing anyway. I just didn’t really have the motivation or the tools.

Then Fireside Fiction redid their site and talked about it. That lit a fire under my ass. At that point, I checked and saw that my paid hosting through GoDaddy, who I kind of despise (but signed on with back in the day because, again, young and ignorant), would be coming up for renewal in about 7 months.

I had a time-frame, and thanks to Pablo’s posts, I had an idea of what tools I could use. From there, it just became a matter of doing the work. So of course I left large portions un-done until the very last minute. (In fact, there are still some things missing that had been present on my old site.)

So here we are.

If you see something that seems off, you can email me about it at webmaster [at] hilarybisenieks [dot] com or just make a pull request on Github. The source for this site is all up there for your perusal.