New Blog Engine

July 26, 2019

I’m completely re-designing my personal website to develop my audience and my activities. I want to centralize all my online content and products in one place that feels personal.

The hard thing about owning a website is not launching it, it’s keeping it updated.

When someone types your name on Google, your personal website shows up first. It has to be the very reflection of who you are, what you stand for, and where you are headed. No one has time to hope around different social networks and tech products to see what you are up to: you are your best curator.

Owing to those two last points, you want a custom website that can easily be refreshed.

Instead of going for a heavy and cumbersome solution such as Wordpress, I went for a static website generator called Gatsby.js. The website is coded with Javascript (React framework), HTML, and CSS. The articles are written in Markdown. The whole app is then hosted on Github and deployed to Netlify for $0. All I need to pay is a domain name: $10 a year for BasileSamel.com.

The main reason why I chose this tech stack is Continuous Integration. I just make a modification to my local Git repository and push it to the World Wide Web in a single command line. It’s never been easier (and cheaper) to update a home-made website.

I don’t need to buy an additional web server because I can always redirect my users to another relevant service if I need them to interact with me. For example, I redirect them to Telegram to communicate, to Mailchimp to subscribe to my newsletter, or to Buy Me A Coffee to tip me.

The simplest solution is usually the one you are going to keep around.