Technical Information

The Blog of Tom Webster

This site is built using a few different components, and I’ve had a few people ask about it, so I made this page.

This site is open source, grab all of the code here:

I also accept pull requests if you find something wrong with the site, such as typos, mis-information, broken links, etc.

General Overview

First off, this site is generated using Jekyll, and hosted on my personal web server (via Digital Ocean). This site does not use a database or true CMS, only flat, generated HTML/JS/CSS files, making it very portable, and very easy to host anywhere.

I chose Jekyll because I wanted my website to be portable. With technology changing more and more each day, I needed to know that my previous writings would remain preserved and under my control, in a format that I could continue to work with as the years went on. Markdown is easily converted to straight-up HTML, and it is very readable in its plaintext, unconverted form, making it an easy choice for my past, current, and future writings. Honestly, reading blog-posts in plain Markdown is pretty readable, much more so than tag-laden HTML.

Using Markdown is a thing of beauty. No site to manage from, no continuous internet connection needed, no rich-text formatting editor required. I can write a blog post in an email to myself, in a Google Keep note, in a plain-text file in Dropbox that I made in Notepad, or in nano while I’m SSH’d into my home computer. Plain text is the most basic of all file formats, and it is truly portable, so why not keep things simple?

Jekyll also brings the promise of portability. No databases to export, no strange file formats to mess with, no bullshit. If I wanted to host my blog in my Dropbox Public Folder or Google Drive with Public Sharing, I could. The site boils down to raw HTML, generated using open-source and widely available programs and toolchains.

And because the site is only flat HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I dodge 75% of the hacking attempts, just by getting rid of PHP and the backend database. Don’t get me wrong, I love WordPress to pieces, but it gets really annoying having to update the damn thing every 4 days, and its the kind of risk I just don’t need with my personal site. WordPress really is more powerful than I need.

This style of site isn’t for everyone. I live in Git and ZSH. I see the terminal on a daily basis, and I love working in the server backend. If you’re a tech guy or someone interested in the points I made above, go for it. If you’re a person who just wants a fire-and-forget blog, head over to Blogger, if you want a little more power, but aren’t ready to commit to anything terminal-based, try out WordPress. But if you’re a tech guy who wants control, power, portability, and ease-of-deployment, Jekyll will be your best friend.

Branch Conventions

Technology Used (Creating, Generating, Hosting)


If you would like to see a “Credits Roll” for the site, hit up the humans.txt file. It has some links and the names of people who have made various plugins.