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Back to WordPress

I’ve been neglecting this site for a while now in favor of posting about books at Full of Words. I’m always reading, after all, and always have something to say about what I just read. It’s time for a change, however, so I’m relaunching in WordPress.

In the last year or so, I grew tired of this site’s look and feel, which hadn’t changed since I first switched to Jekyll. I decided to try to find a new theme, and immediately ran into a few roadblocks. First off, there aren’t nearly as many good themes for Jekyll, especially not free ones. I’m sure this is because anyone using Jekyll is expected to just make their own theme. Then, I realized that if I did find a new theme, I’d have to rebuild my site to fit. Jekyll themes are generally purpose-built for a specific type or style of site.

I didn’t have the patience to build a new theme from scratch. I’m also not sure I could make something as nice looking as the basic themes that come free with WordPress. For a long while, that meant that I didn’t bother.

The more I thought about it, the more that switching back to WordPress started sounding appealing. If I switched back, I wouldn’t need to spend as much time tinkering to get my site looking the way I wanted. It helps that I stuck with WordPress for Full of Words. Over time, I grew to prefer the Gutenberg block system over the classic editor despite my initial skepticism.

What finally decided things for me is that I have new writing that I want to share in my portfolio. It was time to update my site to reflect what I’ve been working on since Camp Camp season 4 ended. When I had some free time, I started the process of importing my posts and portfolio into a WordPress installation. I finished the basic configuration a little while ago and finally flipped the switch today.

This new version of my site is hosted on an Amazon Lightsail instance running Plesk Obsidian, which makes website administration much easier than the Bitnami instance that I originally used to host Full of Words. Updating PHP on Bitnami would have required a complicated installation process, versus just clicking a button in the Plesk dashboard.

I’m glad to finally have this done! For starters, I’ve updated my writing page with information about my animated pilot, Planetsiders, and the many short scripts I’ve written based on prompts from the Script Hive Discord server.


How to Turn WordPress Into a Static Site Using AMPPS and Simply Static

After much tinkering, I finally figured out how to make a decent static backup of my old WordPress site. I kept running into problems no matter my approach – whether I tried the web interface or wget – but I had a brainstorm recently that solved a lot of my issues.

The main problem with trying to create a backup in the WordPress web interface is that my site is on shared hosting and WordPress is a resource hog. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to switch to Jekyll in the first place. I’m unlikely to ever be able to afford dedicated hosting, so switching to a static site was definitely an economic choice.


Look, I Made a New Website!

After much tinkering, I’ve finally decided to replace my WordPress site with a brand-spanking new static version generated in Jekyll.

The Jekyll installation currently lives on an Amazon EC2 instance so that I can rebuild it from anywhere, but if EC2 starts costing too much money, I’ll probably configure it on one of my Macs instead.

I generally use a shell script to deploy the site; first, it does a Jekyll build, then it uses rsync to transfer the files from EC2 to Dreamhost via ssh/sftp. It took a little bit to figure out how to get ssh keys set up on both so that rsync wouldn’t prompt for a password, but in the end it all came down to file permissions. I’ve also configured Rake so that I can test my build with html_proofer and deploy the site using my Rakefile.

The coolest part? Thanks to Panic’s Coda for iOS, I can deploy the whole thing from my iPhone – start to finish!

The current template is called Skinny Bones. I’ve tweaked it a little bit here and there, but it’s mostly the same.

An archival version of my old site currently lives on at I’ve only ported over a selection of my old posts, and I may eventually take the old site down completely.