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Hello World: An Introduction to my Blog

Hello World: An Introduction to my Blog

·342 words·2 mins
Hu Bowen
Hu Bowen

Following the tradition of creating a “Hello World” program after a project is set up, here is the markdown equivalent of mine. I’ll talk about the underlying technologies powering this blog, along with its deployment process that I’ve setup using Vercel.

Underlying Technologies

  • Zola, An SSG written in Rust
  • Anemone, A cool looking theme for Zola
  • Vercel, A platform to deploy static sites

Why Zola?

Previously, my portfolio site used a custom Rust webserver and stored the blog posts in a multi modal database called SurrealDB. While it was a great learning opportunity, I found it too troublesome to maintain, especially due to the fact that SurrealDB is still in it’s alpha stage, meaning that breaking changes are released every now and then. The build times were also insane, averaging about 8-10 minutes per deployment.

Insane build times

I settled on using a static site generator as it is rather easy to maintain and write new posts, since they force you to follow a certain folder structure while giving you free reign over the site’s looks, feel and content. Static site generators create webpages in advance, improving performance and having a lighter backend since the need to query webpages from a database is removed.

Cloudflare wrote a great article on what a static site generator is here.

Deployment using Vercel

Using Zola made things really easy to configure, it basically works out of the box. I just needed to click “Import from Git Repository” and it got everything set up 😎. Deployments happen automatically when I push to the main branch.

Vercel production

An added bonus is that they help you set up your custom domains too!

Custom domains

Closing Thoughts

All in all, this framework feels rather solid so far and I hope that it’ll last me for the time to come 😄. Gone are the days where I have to cry at the screen while refactoring half my codebase due to a breaking change from a new database, and I hope the speedy compile times last as my number of blog posts increases.