Site Update and My Move From Tumblr

Photo by Christopher Burns

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’m sorry about that. I had thought I was going to start getting into a nice cadence for posting content.

Over the past few years, I’ve been using Tumblr as my main blogging platform. I used to really like using Tumblr. Since I started posting on Tumblr a few years ago, not much has changed with the service. The dashboard interface and editor are frustrating to use. I usually spend about 5 minutes searching the site for a feature I want to use.

In the past few years, I’ve also started using Medium. I really like their interface for almost everything. It’s not perfect, but it’s so much better than trying to use Tumblr. Medium also brings me a lot of exposure to my posts that I wouldn’t receive otherwise. I’m also not sure Medium is the appropriate place to post more personal posts like this one.

I had been cross-posting my more technical posts to my personal blog and my Medium site. I think for now I’ll continue to do that.

My Alternative to Tumblr

I’ve been tinkering with several alternatives using Tumblr for the last few weeks. I’ve finally come to the following approach.

I’ve set up a GitHub repo and I am using GitHub Pages to host the pages. It’s an open repository. And I did that on purpose. I don’t really care if you take a look at how I have things set up. Feel free.

GitHub Pages allows you to use custom domains. So I just have my domain (ryan.grier.co) pointing to my GitHub Pages site.

The site is using Jekyll, which is supported by GitHub Pages. The theme I’m using is a modified Lanyon theme. I think this theme the best of the pre-made ones I’ve found, but it’s a little outdated and needed some updates.

Using Jekyll allows me to test the website locally before committing my changes to GitHub and (automatically) deploying them to the site. I can also write all of my blog posts (and pages) in Markdown (using Ulysses).

This setup and process aren’t exactly perfect yet, but I’m working on it.

Added SSL to the Site

One thing I’ve been meaning to do for a while now is to add SSL (HTTPS) to the site. When I originally asked Tumblr Support, they didn’t support SSL with custom domains. They may now, I haven’t looked.

GitHub Pages doesn’t support this out of the box. Instead, you can use Cloudflair to accomplish this. It’s exactly what I did. They have a blog post on how to set this up. They make it super easy to set up and use.

Conclusion

Prior to finding GitHub Pages, I had already started converting my site to use Jekyll. I was going to use that somewhere to host the site. I had imported all of my old Tumblr posts to the new format. Since I had the conversion work taken care of, setting up the GitHub repo and GitHub Pages took about 30 minutes to get up and working.

I am very happy with how this setup is working so far. My opinion may change as I work out the kinks in my posting process.

I hope that this change will get me back to regularly posting content here (and on Medium). I guess only time will tell.