I amar prestar aen,
Han mathon ne nen,
Han mathon ne chae
A han noston ned ’wilith
And here we are again. It was nearly exactly one year ago when I started my experiment using HubPress as blogging system. The glorious count of blog posts actually published made it up to four – including the one announcing the change. To be fair, the other blog on my Jimdo site only grew by two posts in the same time. But what happened? Hadn’t I hoped for greater posting frequency?
Indeed, I had. However, there were a couple of things I had not foreseen. First to blame was certainly my professional engagement, which in 2017 consumed more time and energy than ever before – commuting almost fortnightly between Hamburg and Toulouse certainly took its toll. Therefore, my engagement in programming and other topics I could have written about was significantly reduced. The tiny bit of time that remained I decided to not dedicate it to publishing. This was not a conscious decision though, but rather an instinctive one – and HubPress played its role in it.
My initial euphoria soon suffered from first hand experiencing how petulantly HubPress tended to behave. First of all, authentication was a permanent issue – HubPress authenticates against GitHub, but in quite a paranoid way, forcing me to re-enter credentials several times during creation of an article. Then I found out that I could use Chromium or Chrome for editing articles, but publishing them only worked with FireFox (and only in a fresh session). The least tedious workflow I set up finally involved using Chrome for creating a post stub, Atom for writing and editing the content, and FireFox for publishing it. Not exactly what I would call a clean and easy to follow workflow, and again bound to using a computer with specific software installed (namely Atom and Git).
For a while it looked as if HubPress was still undergoing active development, and indeed, in August last year a patch release was tagged. Therefore I still hoped for a while to see some of those tedious issues fixed, and gain better usability in the content creation and publishing process. However my hope was let down – said patch release was the last activity HubPress’ GitHub repository has seen ever since. Some time later I had to discover that HubPress’ web site (the former hubpress.io domain) had ceded to exist. My conclusion: HubPress is dead.
So where to host Ghost? DIY on a cloud service? Since Ghost dropped support for PostgreSQL, Heroku is no longer a viable option (and I’m not keen on starting new cloud service accounts around the different providers for every software product I want to use). Furthermore, I didn’t want to bother about installing and maintaining Ghost, a database backend, etc. And finally, I needed a provider with a European data centre. As this blog is online, you may have guessed already I found one – UK based Tsohost offers a great Ghost Hosting package, at a very affordable price. For the setup I had to bother their support team a couple of times, but they sorted it out in no time.
Well, here I am now, hoping again I will find some more time for writing stuff this year – at least the blogging platform won’t give me any excuses this time, I’ve seen to that. Besides, I converted the few articles from the HubPress blog and published them here as well – it just feels better having everything here. And the other website? I most probably won’t do the same with all the content of the Jimdo blog (maybe some selected items only), and I haven’t decided yet what to do with the other content availed over there. Time will tell, but again the probability I will keep on maintaining more than one site is not really high…