From WordPress to GitHub Pages

21 February 2012

A little while ago I migrated ablogaboutcode.com from a wordpress.com hosted site to a jekyll-generated and github-pages-hosted site. This is a move I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time now. My reasons were primarily due to control over content and style combined with wanting to own the code behind it all.

Wodpress served me well when I was first getting started - and trying to decide if I wanted to commit to blogging and producing content on a regular basis. It was also a great way to familiarize myself with a full-featured blogging platform and what that could potentially provide. But wordpress.com imposes some constraints around commenting and formatting that I wasn’t going to be happy with in the longer term.

I could have used my own wordpress installation, but I think that as a blogging platform it’s overly complex and slow. And I like coding. Moving to jekyll means that I can write my blog posts in vim, using markdown, and then easily check the results on a local server - no internet required. I’m actually writing this particular blog post on a bus with non-functioning internet.

The migration process was relatively painless. Disqus provides a great import tool for migrating comments from wordpress. Transferring my domain registration from wordpress.com to GoDaddy was also a simple process.

The hardest part of the move was converting my posts into markdown. There are lots of tools to do this but in the end I still had to go through and clean up each post individually. This consisted primarily of converting code and highlight blocks to pygments and making sure that the formatting of my content was to my liking - 80 character line lengths and pretty. Vim macros really made this part of the process fast.

I started with the Tom Preston css template and added some of my own customizations for Disqus and a more fluid layout. I’ve also added a floating share bar which I plan on expanding in the future.

Enjoy!