The site has been transformed. It's now instead of But, there's more! I've moved from a website builder (Squarespace) to using a static website generator (Hugo) to create the site. Why?

Content ownership

I'm going to simplify here a bit. The internet was originally created to be a decentralized network. Any person or business can throw a server on the network and host a website or other resources. No one site is technically more important than the other. Nowadays, however, the internet is centralizing again. As social media sites have gotten more popular most people are storing all their information on a few websites across the internet. Cloud services are expanding making many websites residing in the same server farm. A small number of companies now have most of the information.

I'm not against using cloud hosting and social media services, but I am sensitive to the trend. Great people like Tim Berners-Lee are creating projects like Solid to help people take back their data ownership. I decided to house the data for this site via a repository instead of on Squarespace. That way it's stored on my local computers while being backed via source control. Since it's static generated I'm free to host it wherever I like.

Making more

I'm a software developer by trade so I suppose I could have built my own site. Personally, I probably wouldn't finish it, and I'd prefer to focus on creating the content itself. I think I've always felt this way since this site has generally run on something: Live Journal, Vox, Wordpress, Squarespace, etc. In order to increase writing, I'm using markdown to build all the articles. Markdown is a great way to just type your content and not worry about formatting, organization, etc.

Being fast

Most websites follow the dynamic website path. Someone requests a page, the server hits a database, gets the information, and builds output for the browser. If you aren't doing anything crazy, however, you can use a static website generator to build all the Html output. You then upload the generated files to a server, and it is now just serving up clean files. No processing. Again, I'm simplifying, but that's the general idea.

For the time being, I'm using an existing theme from Hugo to make the site pretty. I think over time I will roll my own theme.

For more information about using a static website generator, Smashing Magazing released a good article explaining how it works a little better.

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