vcolavin

Switching to Gatsby

March 16, 2019

So here’s my new blog! It’s built on Gatsby, which is a whole progressively-enhanced, React powered static site generator song and dance. It’ll be easy for me to customize it, if I ever get around to doing that.

I’m switching to Gatsby for blogging because I want to have finer control over its look and feel. The theme I had been using on my Wordpress blog doesn’t look very good and didn’t adapt well to writing about code. I could spend time choosing or building a more appropriate theme, but I want to use tools which I’ve already invested in (e.g. React, JavaScript), rather than the big new toolset Wordpress would require.

I also wanted my blog to be on my own domain, hosted for free by Github Pages like the rest of my site. A static site generator like Gatsby or Jekyll makes that super easy.

I’d been using my old Wordpress blog since August 2012, or seven years ago at the time of this writing. Seven years is a long time for a website. I started it in college, and I kept it through a significant chunk of my professional career. I’m not going to delete it, but I’ll only add new posts here.

I didn’t come to blogging from a tech background. I started my earliest blog on Blogspot around 2005, when I was 13. I liked to share my writing with my mom and her grad student friends. It was big of them to humor me. I wasn’t very cool, but I deeply craved their respect.

Here’s a screenshot from my earliest extant blog, which is still hosted on Blogspot:

This is a screenshot from my earliest extant blog. It reads

Here’s a link to the whole thing. It’s pretty bad. There used to be a post containing the first chapter of my fantasy adventure book, but it looks like I deleted it at some point. I’m bummed about that. I was deeply into R. A. Salvatore, so I just kind of ripped off his style poorly.

As long as I’m being nostalgic about blogs, here are some of my favorites from over those seven years.