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Restructuring of my personal websites and blogs

After some years with the old websites and blogs several issues arised. For my personal content I had basically two sites:

  • idev.ch – Hosted my old tech blog as well as some aged software I wrote many years ago.
  • marcduerst.com – Site hosts my diving- and photoblog.

They both where built using Drupal 7 and hosted on a local hoster.

The issues I had with them:

  • Security updates of Drupal and – even worst – ever plugin I used to build the sites. I could have installed security updates nearly every week if I wish.
  • idev.ch isn’t really the name I like to promote my tech blogs. It’s the label the existing users of the old software now.
  • I like to start over again with my personal tech blog and hopefully keep the drive longer then before and update it more regularly.
  • Adding posts to the tech blog was way to complicate. I like to spend time on the content; not the the tech behind the blog.

Other goals and requirements:

  • Minimize time spent on technical blog-maintenance but don’t get lazy on security.
  • Keep tech blog separated from my dive & photo blog.
  • Keep up to date with state of the art blogging features. Eg. syndicate, share, monitor/stats, editing
  • Use a abstract syntax to write technical blog-posts. Markdown would be nice.
  • Have syntax-highlighting for code-blocks and inline-code.
  • Use the domain marcduerst.com for my primary personal stuff.
  • Keep the domain idev.ch for the old software.
  • Increase priority of tech topics over the dive & photo topics.
  • Keep dive & photo blog and also update it the future.

Platform evaluation

The main alternatives I came up regarding the tech blog platform where:

  • Install a software with easier/automated maintanance then my custom Drupal and host the site on my local hoster.
  • Write my own blog software as an exercise for the new ASP.Net Core platform and Azure Websites.
  • Use Jekyll software to generate static website based on a GIT repository and it on local hoster or on GitHub pages.
  • Use a cloud hosted SaaS like wordpress.com.

Each has its pros and cons.

Install a better updateable software may be a minor improvement and needs time to learn and build it.

Write my own needs a lot of time and blogs are not the best learning example anyway. Furthermore I have to implement all current and upcoming features myself so I again spend a lot of time for tech instead content.

Jekyll static site generator based on GitHub is geeky but also has quite a learning curve and needs time to build. New blog features in the future may be built myself.

SaaS (WordPress.com etc) limit to what that platform actually can.

Decision

After I tried all of them I decided go with SaaS as I am set up quickly and has a good and up-to-date featureset for blogging. Furthermore I most not spend any time over the next years to keep the platform running.

Action plan

Based on the above decision and requirements I came up with the following action plan.

  • Set up a WordPress.com blog => done
  • Move the existing content from marcduerst.con over to tauchfotos.ch => done
  • Point marcduerst.com to the new WordPress blog => done
  • Rebuild idev.ch as a static HTML page just used for the old software I wrote
  • Maybe set up an additional WordPress blog for the dive & photo content over at tauchfotos.ch. Not yet sure about this.

As you see my action plan makes pretty good progress but there is still work left.

marcd View All

I love to write software. More then two decades ago I managed to make my hobby my full-time job so I spent more then 20 year writing professional software (I guess that makes me a "Senior Software Developer"). The last few years I spend most of the time developing in C#/.Net for all kind of windows-, web- and embedded-software.

In my free time I enjoy my family, taking photos and go diving in cold lakes and rivers in Switzerland.

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