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My previous “blog” was “written” with Hugo and hosted on Netlify. I use quotes because for the last two years it had no content at all so it wasn’t much of anything. Today I was chatting at work with some folks about what blog platforms we use and I wanted to not feel like such a poser.

That preface out of the way, I’ve decided that a new year means a new blog and I’m resolving to write weekly about my various adventures and thoughts revolving around technology here. Hopefully 2020 is a better year in oh so many ways. “What is this new blog written in?” you ask. It’s Hexo and it is running on Zeit Now.

Why did I chose those two? Despite my firey hate of all things JavaScript, it is a useful language to learn, the community around Hexo seems much more vibrant, and it’s stupidly easy to use. As for my decision to use Zeit, it seems like if I want to jump into any squirrely experiments with different cloud platforms and serverless functions, Zeit is much more flexible than Netlify while still retaining the simple Github-based workflow that I like.

Given how much easier it should be to maintain and update this blog, I’m hoping it will be easy to keep that resolution to write here biweekly. 🤞

How I set this up on OSX

  1. Delete old empty blog commit

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    # nuke everything, boring git stuff
    git rm -rf *
    git commit -m 'Dump netlify and hugo'
    git push origin master
  2. Install NodeJS and hexo

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    brew install nodejs # could also download the pkg or YOLO curl | bash
    npm install hexo -g
  3. Use hexo init to make a new blog from the default template

    Since I already had a git repo checked out, I had to use hexo init in a subdirectory and move it out.

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    hexo init blog
    mv blog/* .
  4. Fiddle with _config.yml commit

    Yet another YAML file in my life. Browsed through it and fiddled with settings like title, url, etc.

  5. Make the beginnings of this blog post commit

    Created a new file source/_posts/New-Year-New-Blog.md by calling hexo new 'New Year New Blog'. Filled it out with some pretty standard Markdown content.

  6. Add a theme and fiddle with it’s settings commit

    I was originally going to use git submodule to checkout my fork of the theme I found but then I remembered that submodules are terrible so I used git rebase -i to pave over that chapter of history, replaced it with a literal copy of my local checkout of my fork (minus the .git folder) and force pushed git push origin master -f over the evidence. 🔥📁🔥 I’ll just pull down from upstream on my fork and copy over the files whenever I want to update or make changes.

    In Hugo, themes can also have settings. So I fiddled around with those a bit. 🤷‍♂️ I just have to remember to copy the _config.yml hacking I did back over to my fork of the theme.

  7. Make this blog post :inceptiontop: commit

    Checked out what it will look like locally with hexo server.

  8. Login to Zeit create a new project

    I created a new project, filled it out with the details for my blog and linked it to my Github repo. I restricted the permissions to the small set of static sites that I deploy and not include the hundreds of work forks. It’s pretty easy to update them again later, if you search for a repo but Zeit can’t find the repo, Zeit offers a link to the app config on Github.

    Once the repo was added, Zeit immediately began build it (I think it uses npm actions in package.json) and then deployed it to a temporary domain.

  9. Setup Zeit domain

    I didn’t want to have to deal with NameCheap and CloudFlare for this silly blog, so I ported DNS management over to Zeit on NameCheap. For some reason the bulk edit didn’t like the single character subdomains on Zeit (for example, a.zeit-world.org) but the “Manage” screen was fine with it. 🤷‍♂️ Sounds like a fun bug for someone that isn’t me to fix. DNS migrated super-quick and easy.

    NameCheap DNS Setup Screenshot

    I decided I wanted to add a screenshot, which required adding hexo-asset-link via npm i --save hexo-asset-link.

That’s about it. Hopefully you’ve learned something from this overly verbose guide. 😅 Hello to all the crawlers and bots out there!