History

This humble blog previously was based on an Amazon EC2 instance running Debian 8 as operating system. For creating and serving the blog posts, several incarnations of the Ghost blogging software fronted by the NGINX web server were used.

At the time of releasing this article, this site is served by an Amazon S3 bucket holding a statically generated version of this site. See below for technical details.

Reasons for switching

Major changes in the Ghost software without automatic migration

I like the new Ghost editor but this IMO unnecessary annoyance was the major driver for getting rid of Ghost. Another thing that I don’t like about Ghost is that they somehow only support stone old versions of Node.js. So when doing local tests I always have to switch Node versions before the thing works. But depending on which kind of APIs Ghost will provide, I might still use it for doing some content integration tests. And I still think Ghost feels much lighter and nicer than WordPress.

The conclusion for software vendors might be: Never do major setup and content format changes between two following versions without an automatic and handsome migration process :-)

Too much effort to administer the server

Keeping the server up to date and handling configurations can sometimes be a lot of effort. For example one day suddenly Let’s Encrypt stopped to work on my server without giving a reasonable clue what the problem was. Because my time is very limited I finally decided to completely remove it to avoid such situations in the future.

EC2 cost

Originally the cost estimation for running on the EC2 instance was around $10/month. But in fact, real costs - after the very generous trial period of 12 months provided by Amazon - were around $18/month. Though this is not an amount I could not afford, I think it’s a little too much for my humble little blog, especially because the Debian server is not serving other purposes.

Fun with new technologies

Last but not least it’s fun to play around with different and new technologies :-) And one of the major purposes of this website besides providing useful information to others is trying out different writing and hosting options.

Commenting

I also decided to completely remove commenting from this website. The reason for this was that I support Magnolia topics already during my professional life - so if you need advanced support you should contact Magnolia using official channels or the Magnolia forum. So I am glad if you find the content of this website in the existing form useful but if you have trouble getting something to work I cannot do this in my spare time. You can find an email address on the about page if you still decide to contact me…

Current technologies used

Remark: I also experimented with Jekyll as static site generator a few times because I like the Ruby language but IMO configuration and usage is a real pain compared to HUGO.