So the migration of my blog is now complete, and for the most part it was pretty easy. One of the things I did find tricky was getting the tag cloud to work. This post isn’t meant as a guide for how to do so yourself, but as a breakdown of the process I went through, and why I made some of the choices that I made. I doubt I have the best solution, but it’s close to what I wanted.
As I mentioned in my last post I have been working on the migration of my blog, well it is now completed. This is my first post powered by Jekyll. So far everything appears to be working as expected, but I’m sure I’ll find niggles that need fixing as time goes on.
So I have been working away in the background on the migration of my blog away from the Apache Roller powered blog platform that I currently use. One of the issues that annoyed me, and I never got around to fixing (although it would probably have been easy to fix), is the fact that all my posts appear at a URL that includes the word "blog" twice. It was redundant, and irritated me, and because I never fixed it, removing that means that when I migrate the blog I'll need to set up a redirect for the old links to still work, which also annoys me, but is the cost of this migration I suppose. So I am going to do a review of the process, what I wanted to do, how far I have got, how I did it, and what is left to do.
My blog is powered by Roller, a java based blog platform, and it works reasonably well for me. However I want to move my blog to be hosted off my home connection, which rather means paying for hosting that can run a Java app, and if I wish to use to use multiple servers for redundancy, I will have to set up replication of the database somehow. These are complications I do not need, and add to the maintenance overhead of my blog somewhat. So what do I need?
So I have a new website, and if I'm going to redo the design at all the first thing I need to do is look at responsive design. A web page that has an appropriate layout regardless of the screen size it is displayed on would be an improvement on what I had before. So I've made an attempt at responsive design, and it works as I want it too, I still need to work on colours, and look and feel, but I do at least now know the basics of responsive design. This stuff is not easy, and I'm sure I have a lot yet to learn, and I'm probably not doing it in the best way possible, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
So now that I have learned a little about responsive design I have taken what I have learned and applied it to my current site. There were some teething issues with the different layout needed for my blog, but I've worked those out mostly. Some of the jokey and less serious styles (that only people who know me will know how to get too) still need to be fixed, but I can work on those later. For now, I have a responsive website!
So I mentioned that I had registered a new domain recently. I also mentioned that I was going to host a website for this on the virtual private servers I have for my mail servers. I had a couple of prerequisites that needed meeting before setting this up.
So a while back I updated my blog's software and at the time it broke the themes. It turned out this was due to the new version of Roller not detecting that my blog is behind ssl and so the css wasn't being loaded by my browser. It was a fairly straight forward fix (a single setting to force the blog to treat all links as being behind ssl).
Having fixed that I could use any of the built in themes (plus a number of extra themes you can download). However I was never terribly happy with how my blog, and my website just didn't go together. With that in mind I decided to edit one of the simpler themes, and make it look more like my website (given my rather poor design skills this was probably a mistake, but meh). This ended up being a lot easier than I expected it to be.
So welcome to my new look blog, as shocking as it looks.