Github Gists: Blogging for the lazy
11 March 2014 - This is a post on my blog.
Recently I decided to revamp my website. I wanted it to be simple, mobile friendly, have Markdown-based blogging, and not pay an arm and a leg to host it.
Static sites are all the rage these days, and not without reason. They're cheap, fast, and portable. Of the several hosting options I looked at, including S3, Github seemed like the easiest. A site is included even with your free account and you can just push a git repo to publish.
Although static site generators are very popular, I decided that I would simply use a CSS framework like Bootstrap. Having built a few websites before, I knew I wanted to start "responsive" out of the box and use something with light mental overhead. At some point I came accross Skeleton and it seemed to fit the bill.
Wanting a Markdown-based blog meant I would probably need a static site generator after all. However, I was recently reading a short Python tutorial that someone had written using Gists and realized that it might just work as a blogging platform as well.
Gists have several features that make them usable as a simple blog:
- Markdown is supported.
- Links, images, and lists are all rendered nicely.
- Pretty code snippets with syntax highlighting.
- A built-in commenting system.
- You can download or clone the gist.
- You don't need to set up your own system to handle the above
It might be code snippets and the comment system that really swayed me. You can easily insert snippets of code that look nice just like this:
# A Python function def testfunc(xlist): '''This of course is a test function!''' print 'Test!' return [x for x in xlist if x != 1]
And of course, commenting is built in as anyone with a Github account can comment (probably much of my target audience).
For now this seems to suit my needs as a blogging "platform". Leave a comment and let me know what you think!