2 min read

Back to Basics

After many years of working on my blog's design, tweaking it constantly, and porting it from Jekyll to Ghost, I finally gave up and returned to Ghost's 'dawn' template.
Back to Basics
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

I have a very Ross-and-Rachel-like relationship with my blog. When I'm on, I'm on. When I'm not, well, let's say the silence becomes deafening. I'm not very active on social media either, but I never really adopted blogging until recently.

I started blogging with Blogspot, moved on to Windows Live Spaces, tried to build one myself, and finally moved to Jekyll. Using a well-known HTML & CSS template called Porto, I built it from scratch. I thought writing blog posts in markdown would take the pain of migration & upgrades away. But honestly, who the fuck deploys content via CI/CD pipelines? You write in markdown, then literally compile the website to create a static HTML output, and then deploy it. Writing blog posts felt like one of those old cars where you have to wind it up with a crank every time you want to drive it. Fucking hell.

Then, I decided to move my blog to Ghost. It was a painful content migration process, mostly manual, so fuck Jekyll's markdown files. Converted Jekyll's Liquid notation to Ghost's Handlebars syntax, blah blah blah, then Bob became my uncle: I now had a blog that I could quickly type away!

Ghost is a fantastic platform. It is very easy to customise templates and it gives you many features to work with. I wouldn't use it to create fancy websites anytime soon, but I like it a lot.

But my own website design became a chore, to be honest. My own CSS declarations conflicted with Ghost's CSS, and even adjusting the font sizes took a while. I got it right eventually until I realised the Bookmark components were rendered the size of billboards. It became a point of anxiety for me.

So, I ditched my years of effort for the benefit of simplicity. I still tweaked the 'dawn' template a few lines, but only that much.

It was fun to do it myself, but I'd rather not tweak a problematic car every day to get it working and get a new one that would reliably work when I needed it.