My last iteration was back in September 2014 when I moved away from Pelican and decided to code my own blog engine based on Django. I really liked the idea of a static site, but I found using Pelican was a bit tedious and I didn't like the theme. That was two years ago. Pelican has evolved a lot, and so have my skills in coding, theming and system administration.

Screenshot of my old blog's home page
Screenshot of my old blog's articles index
Screenshots from my previous blog

Addressing Pelican's drawbacks that discouraged me two years ago

Obviously the theme has been taken care of. I used Semantic UI's default theme and wrote my the Pelican templates. It's not a complete Pelican theme, I only wrote the features I actually use.

The main usability drawback I had with Pelican was having to generate the site at each edit, which took as long as 30 seconds because I had many large videos which needed to be copied to the output directory. So I wrote a new feature to create hard links instead of copies, which reduces the processing time to about 2 seconds.

Using the awesome tmuxinator, I just have to type mux blogue and my tmux preset launches my preferred editor and a development server (illustrated below). It's effortless now to start writing a blog article.

Screenshot of a terminal, multiplexed with tmux, with open panes for editing a Pelican article and a template file.

Editing my Pelican site content and theme with vim in a terminal multiplexed with tmux and a tmuxinator preset.

Pelican ships with a makefile for easy site deployment. However I'm personally more comfortable with Ansible and decided to write my own playbook instead.

Improvement over my Django blog engine

I am relieved that I don't have to maintain my code alone anymore. Not that it was a complicated and rotten code, but I don't have the time since I shifted my focus towards system administration. Now I have an entire open source community to help me!

Writing articles is much faster and fun using Markdown. My blog didn't have that and I wrote all my articles in pure html...

My old blog's theme was just normalize.css plus some CSS written by hand. Now that I have Semantic, I can write some html in my Markdown files if I need to for articles requiring special formatting.

Hosting got cheaper again. didn't support Django and I moved to a Linode 10$/month VPS. Linode worked great, but a VPS is overkill for such a small blog.