Why Use a Static Site Generator Instead of a Blogging Platform

Static Screen

When I started using Wordpress, I thought it was an awesome solution for blogging. It was easy to install and seemed like by just using plugins, you could augment your blog with a lot of features easily.

That was until I got hacked not only once, but twice. Wordpress and any other database-backed Content Management System suffers from the same security vulnerability: you store the content behind an authorization scheme. There are ways to prevent this (and I even wrote a blog post about it in the previous incarnation of my blog), but the complexity of keeping up to date with all the patches, monitoring bad plugins and other security considerations quickly become pretty overwhelming. The feeling of seeing Viagra ads all over your site is something you don’t easily shake.

There’s also the scalability factor: if your site has a mention on Mashable or Hacker News, you can pretty much kiss your website goodbye, as your infrastructure is not designed to withstand hundreds of visits per second, and unless you have some sort of caching layer enabled (which most small blogs don’t), every page needs to request its content from the database — and that becomes a bottleneck for the serving of your content.

When I decided to launch my blog again, I knew I wanted to do it using the new wave of content serving systems: static site generators.

What is a static site generator?

The idea seems a little bit stange at first. What if instead of generating each post every time the user requests it, we pre-generate all the posts, write them on the filesystem as static HTML/CSS/JavaScript files and folders and then transmit that content to the remote server?

But wait, you must be saying, doesn’t that take a long time? The truth is for most blogs it doesn’t, and unless you have thousands of posts, regenerating a blog with 1,000 posts takes a few seconds for most generators. But the beautiful thing is that once that content is generated, there are no databases to access, your whole ...

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My Blog Reboot

Ctrl Alt Del

For the third time in its history I’ve decided to relaunch my blog. This time around, I have a new approach that I think will allow me to work on it on a consistent basis.

After all this time, I still firmly believe it’s important that we have independent voices and not let the major blog portals own all the conversation.

Blogging is important for me

I’ve felt the need to blog for a long time. There are many excuses to not blog — dozens of more urgent things, work, family obligations. And yet, it’s an important acitivity that allows me to look back and reflect on things that are happening. It also allows me to connect to people who might learn something from what I write or allow me to learn something from the comments that people leave on the posts or through social media.

At the end of 2009 my life was thrown into unexpected waters and I was forced to look for a new job. I eventually joined a startup that required 100% of my waking hours and was heads down for almost 4 years while I worked there. My blog was so unattended that I decided to pull the plug and just point it to an about.me page. I also decided to try one of the new publishing platforms, Medium, to see if it had the same feeling of blogging.

Every time I saw my homepage, my heart would sink. That page was completely not representative of what I wanted to be seen as.

This year I left that startup, and I feel like my life is back in balance. Even though there’s the same amount of work, it does allow me to disconnect when I go home.

Sharing my knowledge

One of the upsides of going through the startup bootcamp that I experienced for the past 4 years was the amount of new things I learned in both the engineering side and the business side. I intend to share that knowledge on this blog in the coming months. I will ...

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