How I Publish Blog Posts03 July 2018
Photo: Kaitlyn Baker - Unsplash
When I decided to start a new blog last year I had a very focused reason to write. I wanted to improve my written English. I also wanted to improve the speed at which I could write without procrastination. As I have moved into more managerial roles over the years I have found the process of writing hard. I find coding easy, it flows from me but, I carry a lot of abbreviations and shortcuts back to reports and updates. So as I was writing more English and less code I wanted a way to practice it. This site is it in a way (but also an outlet for thoughts and experience).
Someone was discussing this process with me recently. They asked how I create content and publish my site. So I thought I would share here for reference.
One thing that was clear when I put the site together was that it needed to be very easy to publish content. I didn’t want to maintain the site past publishing on an ongoing basis. That meant a static site and for me, I opted for Jekyll. I opted for a simple template and then fleshed out the details. My template is the Lanyon theme and all imagery is sourced from Unsplash. I did have to tweak the themes CSS and js to get the Google page speed results that I wanted. But, since finalising the template some time ago I haven’t needed to maintain the site as planned.
I mentioned that I source images (as a lot of people do) from Unsplash. One thing I do to maintain the page load times is compress the image files as a good site should. I have to be honest and say that I do this manually at present using GIMP. I have the “Save To Web” plugin installed and I resize the images I use to around 720 pixels wide and then compress by 80% using GIMP. This results in much smaller files which load quickly.
I write articles in Hemingwayapp.com. It is a very plain and simple editor that highlights bad and hard to read English. I then use Grammarly to try and catch any bad grammar or spellings and then copy the reviewed content to Vim. In there I add markup.
The code for this site is managed by a Bitbucket Git repo. I have opted to host the site on Netlify. I have mentioned and written about how easy this solution is. Netlify lets you hook it up to a Git provider so that you get automated publishing of the site on pushing changes to your repo.
This method of publishing content is not perfect but it works for me. I will look at some point when I have time at creating a script to automatically shrink and compress images. I have also been researching writing tools for Vim that would allow me to get the same experience as Hemingway. Some come close so that is an ongoing task. If there are any recommendations from you I would be very keen to hear about them.