For almost 6 years, this blog had been hosted at Blogger, and it was a pretty decent experience: you can get up and running with your blog pretty fast. They supported using your own domain which was exactly what I was looking for. However, I was not so comfortable hosting my site on Google: since they decided to kill Google Reader, I was a bit skeptical that they will shut down the service at any point. Anyway, I had to do something with the blog: it was still using HTTP and, since HTTPS if finally gaining traction (thank you Let’s encrypt!), I was planning to configure SSL sooner than later.

Jekyll and Github to the rescue

I’ve been for a while interested in static page generators: it makes a lot of sense for web pages that are not so often updated (such as, unfortunatelly, my blog). In the end, it’s the ultimate caching: you generate the contents in advance, and then you just serve the static content. There are other engines, but Jekyll has become really popular nowadays. GitHub supports them for GitHub Pages and they even have an Blogger import plugin! Seemed like the perfect match.

From zero to blog in a few steps

After a small research on GitHub, I found a template of my liking: Type-on-Strap. I forked the repo, renamed it to myusername.github.io and in a few clicks I had a working site published on Github! The next step was to setup my domain, which was also quite easy. I added in my domain’s DNS configuration four A entries pointing to:

  • 185.199.108.153
  • 185.199.109.153
  • 185.199.110.153
  • 185.199.111.153

Then, from GitHub’s repo settings, I just had to add the domain and select to force HTTPS. Et voilà! My domain was working and they automatically created a certificate for me.

Conclusion

Now becomes the really hard part: putting your own content, but so far I’m happy with the change. And if eventually GitHub decides to shut down this free service, I can just generate locally the content with Jekyll and host it on a dumb server somewhere else.