A Note on Ongoing Site Updates and Upkeep22 Mar 2021
Since about 4 years back, I’ve not really paid much attention to this blog - other than switching the backend from WordPress to Jekyll static pages served via Gitlab Pages. That means not only did I not write much content in those years, I ignored the site maintenance as well, including not checking up on which pages or links didn’t translate from the older hosting to the newer one.
There were many dead links, visitors weren’t able to find past content easily anymore (coming in via search engines, or via links from sites - other sites, as well as cross-links from this site itself!). What’s worse, is that the 404 page was served Gitlab, taking visitors to a Gitlab domain and not giving them any chance to look around on this site.
Since the beginning of 2021, I’m slowly chipping away at these shortcomings. I started with writing a couple of blog posts. It’s convenient to serve the blog via a regular ‘write text; git commit; git push’ workflow. And while doing that, I identified many of the shortcomings on the blogging infrastructure (Jekyll setup as well as WP->Jekyll conversion oddities). I now have a TODO checklist for stuff I want to improve on.
In the past few weeks, I’ve fixed and improved quite a few things on the site:
- Better CSS layout. The current layout is an improvement over the previous one I had for the last 3 years. I’m not entirely happy with this current layout, though, and it will change.
- Working ATOM feed
- Fixed embedding of youtube videos on several pages. Some more remain to be fixed.
- Bumped up Jekyll version, effectively use
- Added custom 404 page with options to search this site for content, as well as links to all published posts
- Wrote an elaborate Python program to create redirection links from previous WP-style URL scheme to the URL scheme that’s now in use on this site. Also redirected from this site’s previous URL scheme to the newer one. All pages and previous links should now just work. Even the ones from the days when this site was hosted on Blogger!
- Spotted some attachments (like pdfs from my talks) and images are not downloadable or viewable. Have fixed one or two manually for now. In the upcoming days, I intend to go through all site-internal links and ensure they work right.
After I fix up the links, attachments and embedded content, I want to focus on writing more. There are a lot of topics I want to write about - from Photography, to Video Games, to Tech. There’s a lot that’s happened in the last 4 years, and blogging is a great outlet for me to organize my thoughts and maintain a journal.
I must say, though, that it’s fun working with HTML and CSS again to fix the site - it’s not something I’ve done in a long time. And it’s fun to write those Python programs to automate something as mundane as adding webpage redirection. It’s fun doing all these side quests again!