Emerson's Site

Developer/Sysadmin, college kid, musician, etc.

A New Website

Update 10/01/2014: This post is now obsolete because I have now switched to Jekyll. I have no hard feelings for Ghost, I would still recommend you read this and try it out for yourself, you might really like it. But I found personally, there were better options.

Hey all, If you’re reading this, it means that I have successfully switched my website from a WordPress blog to a Ghost blog. This was something that I had been wanting to do for a while, but never had the time to until now.

Why Ghost?

Well, first of all, it runs off of a node.js server, so it’s written completely in JavaScript (which is much easier to read/write for me than PHP). Second of all, the editor is a lot better than the WordPress one. Each post/page is written in Markdown, so no need to click a bunch of dropdowns and buttons to create headings or lists. Markdown has a lot of shortcuts for stuff like that.

Also, there’s just less. Some people (especially buisnesses or real bloggers) need more. They need the advanced options, plugins, theme extensions, shopping carts, etc. I don’t need any of that. I just want a place to write about projects I’m doing, or something I learned that day. I don’t need anything more. And if I do want something custom in a post, I can put HTML straight in my editor, and because it’s Markdown, it will put it in that post.

Node is better

In case you don’t know, I’m a big fan of web development. So, when I learned about node.js and the MEAN (Mongo, Express, Angular, Node) stack, I was really intrigued by the fact that it was all written in JavaScript (or one of its variants). I had always thought JavaScript could only be run in a browser, and here were entire web servers written purely in JavaScript! So, of course, I started playing around with it, and while I’m still learning more and more about it, I can already say that I probably won’t ever go back to a *AMP stack personally.

But PHP is still good

Don’t get me wrong, I still like using PHP. I develop in it every day at work. I do still think there are many reasons to use PHP. CMSes like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. all use PHP, and there are a lot of people who know how to customize these applications however they want to. I would still recommend WordPress to any business owner who wants a website, because they need more. They need the e-commerce and the plugins and all that.

Besides programming languages…

I’ve also made some structural changes to the site, and cleaned out my filesystem. I moved to a subdomain-based system, which I like better because I think it’s easier to remember. Most of the random, extraneous files that were somewhere in the old site are now at http://files.emersonveenstra.net, which is where randombits is synced to. All the websites I’m hosting now have their own subdomain, and any big projects I’ll be doing will too.

So feel free to take a look around the new site and see what’s up. I’ll try to be posting more in the summer when I have more time. I have a lot of topics to write about, but unfortunately I’m too busy doing them to write about them right now.

Until next time, --Emerson