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DIY static website generation

My personal website has always been statically generated from some Markdown files. I used various static website generators and, while I think they are all pretty good, I ended up multiple time in the following process:

  1. choose a generator and set it up
  2. pick a theme and, after having spent a lot of time choosing it, learn how to tweak the few little things I don’t like
  3. write something and publish it
  4. wait for a somewhat long time
  5. learn that something needs to be updated
  6. spend more time updating the generator than writing content
  7. updating themes is usually pretty annoying
  8. decide to start from scratch

I saw some people on Twitter saying that they rolled their own solution and I wanted to give it a try too, in an attempt to break the cycle.

Do It Yourself

I gave the DIY solutions a try and I managed to get something basic, but easily extendible and that does everything I need fairly quickly with less than a hundred lines of code.

This solution has a few different advantages:

This puts me in the position to have a generator tailored for my needs and that changes only when I decide I need a particular feature. The rest of the time is just out of my way and I can focus on writing my posts.


This approach has some trade offs:


While off-the-shelf static website generators are pretty good, I had some issues with them and decided to roll my own. This choice has some trade offs, but I think that simplicity and ease of customisation are worth taking this bet given that my use case is as basic as it could be.