Yet another blog engine switch

Today's victim: Nikola

I've gone through several platforms in my ongoing attempt to fail at blogging as often as possible. This site previously ran on Textpattern, which I liked, but the admin area was... confused. Also, I kind of forgot to update it for about seven years, and applying all those fixes at once... well, it wasn't happy. Understandably so.

After that I figured I'd find something built on technology I actually like (I've worked with PHP for far too long to enjoy or trust it). Nikola is built with Python, so that's a plus right there; I've been using Python happily for something like five years now as my primary development language. Makes it much easier and less painful if/when I need to dig into the guts of the platform and figure out what's happening or why.

However: Most of the sites I build, both for clients and for myself, need to be dynamic; their content is updated live and/or they need to allow users to interact meaningfully with data that's store on the site. For that I prefer Django.

Nikola is a static generator, not a dynamic platform. Static site generators take the content you provide and -- surprise -- generate a static site that can be served without the overhead of a database connection or the security issues that can arise when processing user input through server-side scripting. The result is that the same server can handle more traffic in a more secure manner, as each request goes straight to HTML files rather than going to a script or framework that has to take data, potentially from several sources, and compile a page before it can be sent back to the browser.

Using Disqus for comments also means less I have to deal with on the server as far as setup and maintenance. It's not exactly ideal to have a third party handling comments, of course, but in this case it's something people are used to and one less thing to worry about.

Leaves more time to build games. :)

Note: My longest-running blog is at and deals with my ongoing experiences as an expat in Japan, learning the language and living in a completely, utterly foreign place. It's hosted on Blogger, which is a reasonably decent platform, and convenient enough that I doubt I'll switch away from it for that blog.


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