It has finally come to this.
After more than eight years, I have decided to dump Blogger and migrate PatHawks.com somewhere else.
In some ways, this has been a long time coming. I haven’t considered Blogger to be the best blogging platform for many years, but there was one reason that I stuck it out.
Blogger was owned by Google, and Google is stable.
With the announcement this month that Google will be killing Google Reader (in just a few months !!), I can no longer trust Google to keep any services running over the long term.1
I liked the feeling that, even if I go broke or loose interest or die, Google will keep my blog running just the way it is, forever. Blogger is (was?) fairly unique in this aspect.
- To use WordPress.org, of course, one needs to pay monthly fees for storage space.
- To use WordPress.com, one needs to pay yearly fees to remove ads and point a domain name to the site.
- Tumblr has no fees, even for using a custom domain, but Tumblr is somewhere between a blog and a Twitter, and I never really felt like it would fit my needs.
- Posterous is dead, but the founders are trying again, and this time they’re super serious that they won’t kill their product.2
- I freaking love GitHub Pages, but I feel a little funny using it for my personal blog, especially when I’m already using GitHub Pages for my less personal blog3
So, here we are.
While Google is killing of things that I love, I realize that I cannot trust anybody with my precious blog.
So, I have taken matters into my own hands.
- I will be hosting my blog, as a series of static files, on Amazon Simple Storage Service
- I used the excellent blogger2jekyll to convert my Blogger blog4 into a series of static HTML files.
- I am using Jekyll as my template engine, to make all of those static HTML files look pretty.
- I am using jekyll-s3 to push all of those pretty HTML files to S3 for hosing.
A couple nice advantages will come from this transition, even though they were not among my primary reasons for making the switch.
- Blogger is slow as molasses. There’s no reason that a text blog entry should take more than a second to load. Serving static files from S3 is fast.
- Blogger produces really terrible code. I realize I’m probably the only one who hit’s “View Source” on things like this, but it bugs me none the less.
- I can now easily use Dropbox to back up my blog. My entire blog lives in my Dropbox folder on my hard drive. No more trying to remember to “Export to XML” regularly.
- If I ever decide to ditch S3, it would be trivial to host my static files elsewhere.
- If my blog is ever booted from the internet, it will still exist as a series of easy to read source files.
Not as an XML dump. Not locked inside some database. Just static files.
Of course, this was only the final nail in that coffin. I have been doubting Google’s long game for years. ↩
That said, Posthaven definitely intrigues me. I will be keeping an eye on you, Posthaven :) ↩
Which, of course, is where you are likely reading this post. ↩
+1 For never needing to use the term “Blogger blog” again ↩