Site Now in Metalsmith + Let's Encrypt

Posted on: Monday January 11, 2016

Metalsmith Rework

I recently got the bug to try something new and run my site using a static site generator instead of Drupal.

There are several reasons:

  1. I wasn't really using any of the features of Drupal, and having a static site committed somewhere made more sense.
  2. I've been writing more and more JS things, and since PHP is my day job I thought it'd be nice to have something else.
  3. Metalsmith had been brought up before, as had Hexo and a couple of others (there are a few php ones as well, along with Jekyll for ruby).
  4. The computer I was working on had npm installed but not php (it was windows, and I didn't want to type choco install php)

I ultimately went with metalsmith because it looked cool, and the idea of its render pipeline. There are also a bunch of plugins and the plugin api is pretty easy to understand once you've got it figured out.

Couple of problems I ran into:

  1. The render pipeline takes a bit of trial and error in order to get right.
  2. Plugin documentation doesn't always include examples.
  3. Sometimes the generator creates some weirdness with regards to the template plugin (header repeated, double titles, etc.).

Let's Encrypt

I've also switched the SSL certificate to use a beta cert from Let's Encrypt. It was fairly easy to get going (there's an automated installer to generate and pull down the cert) and it seems to be working just fine. It's a pretty cool initiative which I hope eventually gets everything behind SSL.