There was a lot to like about Jekyll:
The fact that the public website was completely static html eliminated the possibility of the site being hacked.
Static pages are super lightweight, and could be hosted on completely free hosting (I was hosting it on GitHub Pages)
Content was version controlled so I could trace edits over time.
Also, while I still believe in the AMP project, Google apparently does not, and doesn’t support it in Google Analytics 4, which means I lost all analytics on my website (which was AMP only) when Universal Analytics shut down earlier this month.
I’m a tinkerer at heart, and I really wanted to be able to experiment with code more and do things with the site while still retaining at least most of the benefits of the static site generator like Jekyll used.
One of my team members uses Jigsaw for his blog. Jigsaw is a PHP Based Static Site Generator (SSG) built upon some of the same frameworks that power Laravel, most notably the Blade Templating Engine. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like it. It was almost too much of an SSG and the ability for me to write actual code for it was sadly limited. I was able to get it to publish a static site to GitHub Pages, but with very limited success.
Looking again for something that is more based on Laravel but with the benefits of an SSG, I came across a product called statamic. Statamic is not just based on Laravel, it is Laravel so anything I can write for Laravel I can write for statamic. Statamic can be installed into an existing Laravel installation, or it can be installed from scratch.
Like Jigsaw and Jekyll, Statamic works on flat files for node storage to begin with, meaning it is wicked fast for rendering, even without running in SSG mode (which I can do, as it can generate a static site also).
Since it is full Laravel (using views for rendering) I can use any templating engine supported by Laravel (Blade, Twig, or the Antlers templating engine purpose-built for statamic). I can also run any package that I could run in a full Laravel repo, or add my own.
I was impressed, and I got to work on a special project, reviving the long dead Holodeck3.com website.
I had taken the site down years ago when the drupal installation it was running on was unfortunately hacked. As it was back during the dark time when there was no new Star Trek being produced at all, it was never high enough priority for me to put work into redoing it.
But times have changed, there is tons of new Star Trek available now, scattered throughout the year there is Discovery, Lower Decks, Picard, and Prodigy. Well, except for those last 2 which have already been cancelled.
There are also more new shows coming with Starfleet Academy coming next year and Section 31 still being prepared. The time felt right to reinitialize the holomatrix and bring the site back online.
Statamic was a breeze to work with and I now have a pretty robust site system available over there. I’ll be adding a lot more content there in the days to come.
And with Statamic a success, I’ve now set to update my personal website to Statamic as well. It will take a while to have everything done, as I had a lot of embedded AMP in the post pages that will have to be fixed, but so far I’m really excited where this new version of my site is going.
Hopefully it will be just the shot of motivation I need to actually start writing here more often.