J. Pedro Ribeiro

Back to Basics

March 30, 2019

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything on this site. So, as any web developer would do, I decided to rewrite the whole site instead.

Out with the old…

My previous hosting provider was stuck in the 2000’s, and this is me being nice. It was very difficult (read: impossible) to upgrade backend applications, which led me to find hacky alternatives to achieve what I needed.

The Plesk version was so old that there was no documentation or support available. If you’ve never used Plesk before… consider yourself lucky.

It was a WordPress site. Which is a great tool, at least good enough for 33% of the internet, but it wasn’t fulfilling my needs. It is too big, bulky, high maintenance. I even had a crypto miner injected into my scripts for a while due to not updating some plugins [insert facepalm emoji].

And I was also unable to migrate to HTTPS. Oh god, the horror

…and in with the new

So I ditched my old hosting company and setup a GitHub page. It’s free, comes with SSL by default, integrates beautifully with static site generators, and enables you to use custom domains.

Speaking of static site generators, doing this move led me to experiment with Gatsby. I was already experienced enough with NextJS but wanted to try something new - I’m a Frontend Engineer, I like shinny new things, OK?

If you are not familiar with Gatsby, it lets you pull data from pretty much anywhere (Markdown files in my case), pipes it through GraphQL (which is awesome), and generates a compiled HTML ready to be used in any static hosting.

This is made even easier when you fork from their own gatsby-starter-blog package. That’s half of the work done for you.

But, and there’s always a but

Static hosting means there’s not much backend, server configuration allowed. Some links to my old site (/tags/, etc…) will 404 as I haven’t created static pages for them (too lazy). This would be easy to solve with some 301 redirects but GitHub Pages has zero options to do that.

Fair enough, it’s not like this blog is a SEO heaven anyway.

Here is to a new beginning

The direction of this blog might change a bit. To prevent my inner procrastinator to only write 2-3 times a year I’ll focus on more bite sized posts and add some personal, non-tech related topics as well.

If you’re curious about how this blog comes together, have a look at the source on GitHub

Feedback is welcome, reach me out on @jpedroribeiro and leave a comment. Cheers!

J. Pedro Ribeiro

I’m a Brazilian front-end developer living in London. This website features some of my latest projects and my thoughts on anything web related.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.