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Beeminder Blog

A blog/butterfly mashup suggestive a blog being reborn

*taps microphone*   Is this thing on?

This is our first official post on our shiny new WordPress-free blog. Confetti-emoji!

For well over a decade the Beeminder blog was on WordPress, hosted by WP Engine. That was… mostly fine? WP Engine did a good job of keeping us from having to think about maintenance much. But it was quite pricey [1] and I was never a fan of WordPress. It’s slow and overcomplicated and clunky; I’m in a fight with it for various silly reasons.

So Nathan Arthur had the idea that moving us to a static site generator would be a simple project that would save money in the long run. Predictably it wasn’t quite as simple as we, um, predicted. Stay tuned for an X-Treme Nerd Interlude post from Nathan! But it was super fun and the new blog is a big quality-of-life improvement for me. As much of the Beeminder community knows, narthur, as we call him online, is a joy to work with. He’s responsible for all sorts of great things in the Beeminder ecosystem (the community Discord, the Autodialer, and the fan wiki, to name a few) plus of course he founded the friendly Beeminder competitor/complement, TaskRatchet.

So what’s powering the blog now? Mainly a static site generator called Astro. Static site generator meaning that we have our blog posts as markdown files and Astro, plus various Node.js tools, turns those files into a bunch of static HTML and CSS that is served to your browser from the cloud hosting provider Render.com. All the code for this is public at github.com/beeminder/blog if you’re curious.

Alright, I’m leaving it to Nathan in the follow-on post to give you the much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know version!


[1] We racked up well over $10k in hosting costs over the years — for just the blog, to be clear.