Static sites are the present day standard for web building. I publish this blog and my website using different static site generators and powered by git, gitlab, netlify, and other useful tools. Here’s how the whole thing works
It all started with github pages. Coders who are working in their git repositories all the time would love a way to publish blog posts using the same kind of technology. So, why not have a git powered blog/website. And there was jekyll.
But later, gitlab introduced gitlab pages and like all things gitlab does, it one upped github by using gitlab ci to build sites using any static site generator and upload to gitlab pages. It also added the ability to serve files over https and so I could get a certificate from letsencrypt and upload to my site.
But configuring https on gitlab is cumbersome and needs to be done every 3 months.
And when my certificates expired yesterday and I had to look up letsencrypt documentation for the command to renew certificates (because my zsh_history file had gotten corrupted and
C-r certbot was failing) I remembered netlify that I had come across recently.
Netlify offers one-click provisioning of https certificate from letsencrypt for custom domains. Yes, you heard it right.
And setting up my website to be served from netlify took only a few minutes (most of the time spent on logging in to my domain seller’s website to change dns and in sorting out the issues with NoScript add-on). Here are the actual steps I had to go through:
- Join netlify with github/gitlab/email/etc
- Add a new site from git by connecting to gitlab/github/etc
- Choose the build command to generate the static site from that git repo
- Add CNAME
- Move DNS to being managed by netlify
- Add letsencrypt certificate (by clicking a button, literally!)
- Force https!
What is next for my sites? Switching to Gatsby