Finally, a new site September 16, 2013
I am my own worst client. I have no idea what I want, I make radical changes to the project’s scope with careless abandon, and although I demand only the highest quality deliverables, I haven’t a dime to spend on the project. Given this draconian development environment, it’s a true testament to my patience and professionalism that I was able to launch this new web site at all.
Although the process involved in getting me, myself and I to finally agree on the design of the new site is still too painful for me to go into, we had a far more pleasant time choosing the technology behind the site. Given my love of all things Ruby, I’d given some thought to building on top of Rails or Padrino, but as nice as it is to work in those powerful frameworks, it seemed like overkill for my more modest needs. I also really wanted to get this project out the door so I could move on to other things. On the flip side, I wasn’t keen on giving up the efficient command line generators that those frameworks offer, or the workflow and time savings of templates, partials and helpers. I also needed a way to manage news posts with a minimum amount of work. That’s when I began exploring static site generators and discovered Middleman.
Middleman’s simple blogging engine was plenty for my needs and freed me from having to care for a database since it uses simple flat Markdown files for each post. Plus, since the generated site is completely static, deployment couldn’t be simpler and there’s no extra setup or upkeep needed server-side. Without a public facing admin system, security is airtight. For icing on the cake, Middleman also supports Sass, which I’ve been excited to use on a project ever since I took a Codeschool course on it. In short, Middleman was everything I needed to build this site and nothing that I didn’t.
Clean, efficient and practical. Ship it (finally!)