Relaunching my blog

I started blogging when I went to university, probably in the second year, as, can you believe it, I lacked a broadband connection in the first. The early noughties were a golden era of blogging, not only were there great blogs to read, but the “Web 2.0” explosion meant there was a huge amount of blogging software to support the ecosystem. Most importantly, it was a moment before social media had really taken off. During the noughts I tried loads of different blogging platforms: Typepad, Blogger and Wordpress, before settling on Tumblr for its simplicity.

I’ve wanted to move away from Tumblr for a while now. I tried Substack shortly after it launched, but felt its functionality to be limiting; plus I’m not really interested in creating an email newsletter. Then, while studying for my master’s, I was given the opportunity to learn Jekyll, and with it the chance to relaunch my blog too.

The last time I made a website Git didn’t exist, and while I’ve had a general understanding of how it works, getting to use it myself has been really fun. VSCode proved to be a great place to get my head around the concepts and terminology, however I was keen to use Git via the command line, and thanks to the help of my student buddy Euginie, after after few weeks of making some rookie mistakes it all started to click.

Adding Jekyll to my blogging workflow has been really easy. I was already drafting everything in IA Writer using Markdown so nothing has had to change there. Replacing Tumblr hosting with the command line and Github (which automatically deploys everything to Netlify) has been straight forward and it also means I’ll continue to develop my knowledge of Git. By managing the site myself I’ll continue to expand my knowledge of Liquid and Sass. This first iteration of my blog is pretty basic, however, I plan to use Github Issues to store ideas for new features and work through them to as a way of improving my skills. My roadmap includes:

  • Updating the archive to include year headings and pagination
  • An open graph and Twitter cards implementation
  • A new accent colour for post headings

Overall I am really happy with the last few months of progress and can see this being the way I manage my blog for a long time to come.

Daniel Bower

Product manager turned student. Currently researching algorithms, platforms, interoperability and kill zones at DDH. Read more about me.