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This site's architecture was foretold 4-6 years ago

Published to Blog on 5 Mar 2018


In July 2013 I published a blog post, Outsourcing your Blog engine’s functionality, that foretold this site’s current architecture. I had originally written the post two years prior but forgot about it in my drafts folder. At the time I had no knowledge of static site generators like Gatsby though I did hint about possibly using static HTML for blog posts.

In the post I described blogs moving away from do-everything CMS tools to using best of breed functionality for all the extraneous functionality other than content management and then even simplifying content management itself.

Then as now I am using still using Disqus for comments and Google Analytics for tracking user activity, incoming links, etc. I no longer use Windows Live Writer, though I did up until the last few posts. Now that I have converted all my old blog posts from HTML stored in SQL Server to HTML stored in JSON files and now finally to Markdown files I am now using Netlify-CMS for writing and editing content and saving it directly to my GitHub repo as pull requests. I am not (yet) using FeedBurner for RSS feeds - I use a Gatsby plugin to generate the RSS feed at build time. I no longer have any forms but I could use an external tool for that too.

At the time I was still using Graffiti, a CMS, for content delivery but suggested using an alternative like Git and Dropbox. Today I am using something very similar - GitHub to store the content right along with the code that builds the site.

I suggested using a small server that would route traffic to pages while combining the content with templates and returning the end result as HTML. The only thing missing from my original train of thought was using a tool that would do all that at build time rather than at runtime. That is where Gatsby comes in. It seems that I was ahead of my time but I was missing one key component, or actually an entire philosophy - I was still caught up in “server” thought.

Dan Hounshell
Web geek, nerd, amateur maker. Likes: apis, node, motorcycles, sports, chickens, watches, food, Nashville, Savannah, Cincinnati and family.
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