Blog Development

02 Apr 2013   middleman

MiddleMan logo

So this first post is on the construction of this blog. I’ve gone for a static blog with the files being generated using MiddleMan. The files are hosted on Amazon Web Services S3 storage service and served using their CloudFront CDN.

Previously I’ve built some sites in WordPress and I like the plugin eco-system that allows you to quickly assemble a lot of functionality. However for me the downsides are the constant upgrades needed to keep the server, WordPress and all those plugins patched. Plus the worry that if / when this blog does get some serious traffic is the caching working correctly or will the server collapse in a heap.

So I decided to go with a static blog served by a CDN. Serving static files over a reliable CDN solves most of the scaling issues and a lot of the reliability issues with running a blog. The challenge is in replicating the dynamic functionality a blog needs using a static site. However that’s the kind of challenge I like!

I started by looking at Jekyll and the Jekyll-Bootstrap framework. I really liked the way Jekyll-Bootstrap was laid out. But development is currently halted while the author develops a new static blogging framework. This seemed like a bad omen for a new blog. So when I found MiddleMan with its active development and the tight integration with S3 and CloudFront it was just what I was looking for.

I’m definitely a back-end rather than a front-end developer. However on previous projects I’ve gotten some good results by taking HTML themes and tweaking them for my purposes. For this blog I wanted to try out the Bootstrap front-end framework. As I like the idea of standardising the front-end and being able to switch between themes more easily in the future. This particular theme I bought from WrapBootstrap and have tweaked a bit.

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