I am going to make a website, a blog website. I have been learning web development on my own for over a year and want to see a project through from start to finish. I always loved writing as a kid and a blog site appeared simple enough. It will be a place to collect my thoughts and hopefully help someone else along the way. Since I am starting a blog, why not write about the process? I am fairly new to development, so this is a great way for me to document my development as a developer(say that five times fast). I will then put this series on the site as its first set of archives. Sounds like fun, right?
I’ll walk you through the stack and why I made the decisions I did.
Now let’s start with hosting. There are lots of hosting services out there, you can also host in house if you’re savvy enough. For a simple blog site I’m going with a hosting service. I have chosen Netlify for my project. I have chosen them for a few reasons. First of all, a great free tier. It is important to me that this series remains as accessible as possible. Netlify also offers continuous deployment from a github repo on an edge network making this one a no brainer.
The next choice I have to make is how I will actually make the site. So what’s important for a blog site? Easy to update, fast to load and has a well organized content filing system that’s searchable. After looking at different site architectures I decided to construct the site using an SSG or static site generator. Then I can construct my entire site from templates and have each piece of content be its own file. For this I chose 11ty, a node package installed locally in my working directory. Each article is a markdown file that will be rendered as its own html page. This is very secure and fast because there is no backend that can be hacked, all of the information is public so no need for user authentication, Static html is really quick to serve up and doesn’t take up a lot of space. In the next part of this series I will get into how I’m building the templates that will construct my site and some of the fun Css stuff I’m doing to make it look nice.