Making the Switch to Octopress and S3

That was surprisingly fast! For a while I have been thinking about making some kind of a switch from Wordpress hosted on this shared server on Bluehost, particularly since I have been getting nearly a non-stop number of warnings, at least one a day, that the host is down.

Granted, I have like no traffic, but still: it makes me wonder.

The other reason I’ve been thinking about making the switch has been more nuanced. I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like writing blog posts, but I don’t really mind writing text files.

For a while, I would write the drafts in a text editor and then find some kind of a way to then cut-and-paste it into the best possible blogging client (which turns out to be Windows LiveWriter)…which sits on a VMWare Fusion instance on my Mac….

We’ll see if this helps, but for someone reason, being able to type using markdown and then let it just get pushed up to S3 feels cleaner.

Granted, right now, it’s a bit of a pain to push it up there (even though it is far easier than I had originally thought) because I am using ponyhost to push it, but it would be so much better (so so much better) if I could set a configuration in Octopress itself as part of the deployment option to just push it to S3 everytime I ‘rake generate.’

So, that’s my next step. I am pretty sure I have seen some blog posts out there talk about it…such as:

So I used the last blog’s suggestion of changing the Rakefile so that if I used a ‘rake deploy’ it would then push it out to S3…and it appears to work, so – yeah – looks like I won’t need to rely on the ponyhost approach (although that is a cool gem).

There is still quite a bit of getting used to in making this switch, and some information that I had typed in the old version that I now need to retrieve. But it also provides some piece of mind. My source files – the entire Octopress directory – is stored locally on my Mac in a Dropbox folder, so that will always be backed up. And the public files are deployed on S3 where the overhead of managing the blog is so much easier and more secure.

I will probably install Disqus for the comments. Yes, that goes out to a third part who can do who knows what with it…but, who knows, maybe someone will offer a good alternative to that.

Meanwhile, I am now trying to make sure I know all I need to know about Octopress, and hope that now I can start writing more regularly.

EDIT 5/3/13

I came across this link which has a list of different theme that exist. This will give me some additional options to explore.

I was originally using the following:

ponyhost push

But with the new code I added to my Rakefile, I just do this:

rake generate
rake deploy

I have been thinking a little bit about possibly installing a local AMP environment on the mac on which to run Wordpress, and if there’s a good static site generator plugin that can work locally, then use ponyhost to push it up to S3. There are some things which are nice about Wordpress, particularly the host of themes. There are far more professional themes for Wordpress than there ever will be for Octopress/Jekyll.