New Website

It's 90% the same and 90% new

March 6, 2019

I have a brand new website!

It almost looks like the old one, but let me assure you, it’s pretty much entirely different. Except for, maybe a few lines of code.

…And all the text. All the text is still here, thankfully.


So, yeah, a little backstory: I found out just after during the Christmas holidays that the website provider I was using before, webhook, was shutting down for good. It had been in support-mode for a few years but now their authentication servers stopped working because google deprecated Firebase API, meaning no one could log into their webhook site’s administration anymore.

That meant I couldn’t change a single thing. I couldn’t upload or edit any blogs, couldn’t push new code changes. It was just stuck.

They wrote they’d keep up sites for 3 months to give people a chance to migrate and then turn off their hosting servers.
Which gave me a pretty strict deadline to find a new website software, find a new hosting solution (because webhook neatly took care of both) and rebuild the whole site. From scratch. I had all the assets and text, and the old code but much of that relied directly on Webhook’s systems.

So if you’re wondering why there hasn’t been any new uploads on the site these past 2 months, that’s the reason.

But now it’s finally done!
There’s still a few wrinkles and nice things I’d like, like infinite scrolling on the homepage, and there’s no RSS yet (though, I don’t think more than 1 person was using that), and there’s probably a fair number of broken links and other oddities on the older uploads, but that’s minor at this point. It should work 95% exactly as the old one did.

Every piece of content that was on the old site is here, which took me manually copy-pasting the entire database piece-by-piece, including images. I… uh, rewatched the first two seasons of Mr Robot while doing that. Yep. Wasn’t fun.

But I also took the chance to learn a little more css and html and got some fairly decent results! Check the About Me page for the new bit I’m most proud of, or the updated Sunday morning game list.

The new website solution I found is called Statamic and I gotta say, it’s a nice piece of kit. It’s not as complete a package as Webhook was, as it is “only” a CMS, but it was super easy to set up locally and develop on, even though I had to do a fair bit more css and html coding than I initially thought I’d wanted. But hey, I learned something!

I also learned how to set up a Linux server with Apache on Digital Ocean) where what you’re reading right now is stored, which was a fun little experience into linux commands and php libraries (fortunately, much easier than I feared), and ssh setup and ftp management. The hardest bit was getting statamic installed and configured, but once I found the right guide, it turned out to be pretty painless.

While it’s a little sad Webhook had to shut down the way it did, I’ll just say again that I have no ill will against the guys behind it and the software itself. It was a great solution for my website while it lasted and I always had a good experience with it. Sad to see it go, but it’s unfortunately been in the cards for a while. Was a good system no one used, so it didn’t work out.


Fortunately, because I’m now basing my website on Statamic, a static site and a one-time purchase software, and hosting on Digital Ocean (that can be migrated to anywhere), I don’t think I’ll ever have to do this kind of surprise-migration again.

The content is now where it is, and I can change everything else, and the content will remain the same and in the same place. Which is great.

I hope you like it, and I’d be grateful if you took a minute to click around and see how it all looks and notify me if something breaks or looks strange. If not, the site’ll be here the next time you come around and I’ll start uploading with the same erratic, non-regular schedule I always had!

Thanks for reading.