Moving a Blog to Hexo

I started blogging using a self hosted version of a platform called Das Blog. It had two major attractions for me. It was an open source .Net application and it stored everything in XML files. Just ten years ago hosting was more expensive and often you were allowed only one database so the XML solution had an appeal. It worked well for years but it took a lot of time and headaches to update the blog when a new version of Das Blog was released.

After a few years of Das Blog operation I really didn’t have much on my blog. I incorrectly assumed that I would write more for the blog if I wasn’t spending time to update it. So I moved to a hosted WordPress solution.

A few more years down the line I took a Pluralsight course titled Build a Better Blog with a Static Site Generator by Jeff Ammons. The course description said you could make your blog load faster with a static website generator without resorting to hand written HTML. I’m bracket adverse so this sounded good to me. The course is great and inspired me to leave the WordPress world behind.

The course covers two different blogging platforms, Hexo and DocPad. Hexo is specifically designed for blogs and is simpler to implement so I went with that solution. Hexo is a node.js application that compiles a few configuration and template files, along with your pages written in Markdown text. The output is placed in a single folder which can be copied to any web server since it is only HTML and JavaScript. In the course Jeff shows how to update your site using Git. WordPress has an export function that creates Markdown files which I easily updated for the new site.

I’ll have to wait and see if actually blog more with Hexo but one bonus about the two conversions I have done is that each was a great opportunity to clean out outdated posts.