I use a static site generator to create these pages. My input is plain text and the resulting output is formatted HTML.
Jekyll is the tool that makes this possible. Written in Ruby by Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub’s co-founder, it is distributed under the open source MIT license.
I’ve always preferred simple Web sites. Especially having spent several years using Wordpress. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, except for the databases, comment moderation, and frequent pesky updates to install. I would have opted for handcrafted HTML as I did for more than a decade, but I’ve grown weary of manually fiddling with CSS. I wanted a clean, uniform look across the site with as little hassle as possible.
Now I write posts and pages using plain text and Markdown in a text editor, run those files through the processor and upload the output. I keep the original files on my laptop and copies on my server. If that hardware is ever hacked or fails miserably the re-installation requires only a simple file upload and I’m back in business.
That’s why this site doesn’t look like the standard Blogspot and Wordpress templates that are widely used in the ham radio blogosphere. While I don’t want to deal with comments (too much hassle), I did want to present new posts in reverse chronological order and I wanted to generate an RSS feed for my content.
Jekyll automates all that simply and after a few months of shaking things down and getting it all tweaked, I’m ready to put this thing on auto-pilot and resume chronicling my ham radio adventures.