I have a blog now


I wanted to set up this blog so that when I have random thoughts about things I want to discuss, I have a way to talk about them. I’m not concerned with traffic, and there are no ads or anything else that is annoying or invades your privacy (which I’ll discuss later in this post!). Eventually, I might consider an About Me post or fleshing out the current About page, but that’s not what this first post is about. No, for this first post, I want to talk about how I set up this blog and the way it’s architected.


I’ve tried to set up blogs like this before. Initially, it was a WordPress site on some free WordPress host. Then, more recently, I wrote my own using Svelte (my favourite way to write websites!), TailwindCSS, and, because I wanted to test it, Supabase (which I also have thoughts on I hope to share soon). This is what killed it in the end, as Supabase pauses projects that don’t have any activity in 7 days, and my site isn’t very high traffic. This iteration will be different for a couple of reasons. First, I’m more interested in writing and maintaining regularly, when time permits. But second, this is now powered by an awesome Jekyll theme called Chirpy, which is, of course, statically generated and run on my personal domain (which I will keep renewing since it has my email and such on it). I’m hoping this will make it much more resilient to going down and keep my content preserved for longer.

Initial Setup

Getting the blog set up was quite simple. The Chirpy theme has a GitHub template you can use to set up the necessary files, then you clone to your machine, install the dependencies, edit the config, and run the dev server! This is where I hit my first bump. Currently, my desktop computer runs Debian Trixie (testing). The RubyGems (the package manager for Ruby, which is what Jekyll is written in) packaged with this version (and possibly others) has some extra code the upstream version doesn’t, which caused the installation of some dependencies to fail on my system. After finding the Debian bug report and undoing the patch they added1, it worked fine. Then I had to edit the config, which was actually really interesting. For instance, I wanted to investigate analytics without infringing on the privacy of any visitors to the site. But before I could even look up alternatives, the config had a number of supported options I could investigate. I ended up going with Umami because it was first in the list both here and on Selfhs.t, a website I discovered shortly before this project began, and because it was a native app in Yunohost, my self-hosting software of choice currently. Going back to the config, it also had easy options to set up Google and Bing search consoles, and the comments explained what the things did fairly easily. I was also interested in adding a comment system, where again self-hosted options were provided to me in the config. I chose since it is hosted on GitHub Issues and will stay up for a while, as well as keeping posts and comments in one repo for me on GitHub. If you’d like, test that it’s working down below ;) Finally, I customised the strings, uploaded my profile picture, and I was done with the initial setup.


For my posting workflow, it’s really inconsistent and unimpressive. For this post, it’s approaching 2 in the morning and I’m writing into a draft email on my phone. Now, the next morning, I’m cleaning it up in VSCode before publishing to the repostiory. For future posts, I will probably write directly in VSCode or do something similar, though if I come up with any better ideas (such as writing in Word for spellcheck), I might come back and edit here.


And that’s a basic overview of my blog! I hope this is a good example of what posts on here will hopefully look like, and that you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for reading! 💾

  1. I found the fix for this here ↩︎

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.