If you’ve ever looked at this site before, it might not look like much has changed. The colors are different, the typography is different, there’s a shiny new logo up there in the left corner, I added a blog section (which you’re reading now).

But on my end, this is a ground-up rebuild. See, back in 1998, I learned basic Web design and HTML programming. In the subsequent years, I learned a little about CSS and the UNIX shell. Then, some time later, I started using WordPress to run sites and blogs. But for my own site, it always seemed like overkill, and I’m a fan of just opening a text editor, writing, saving a file, maybe entering a text command or something, and going to make another cup of coffee. I want it to just work, without having to open up a CMS interface in a browser. And I have a tinkerer’s restlessness and more-than-passing-I-suppose familiarity with the IT world, so I figured a solution had to be out there.

But although I know lots of programmers and true IT experts, I’m not one myself. I think the most sophisticated shell script I’ve ever written was like three lines long, with one variable, and even then I forgot how I did it. I can cut and paste code snippets and sort of figure out how things work, though, if it’s really simple.

So I’m trying this system called Jekyll. At the risk of oversimplifying, you open up a command prompt on a Mac or a Linux system, run a few commands, save a few text files in the right locations, and boom, you have a static Web site. Blogs usually require a dynamic site, but with Jekyll, the solution is simple: it just rebuilds the static site, adding a page or a post if you’ve saved a text document in the proper folder. If you’ve ever learned the first couple things about JavaScript or something, and if you can find your way around a UNIX-style file system (which really isn’t as hard as it might seem if you’ve never tried — if you remember using MS-DOS, you can do basic UNIX stuff), you’ll be able to follow the configuration instructions. The thing’s on Version 3, and it’s been around for several years; I just never dedicated any time to figuring it out.

But on Monday morning, I blocked off some time for it. And by Monday evening, I had a new site, which looks very much like the old one from the outside but is built on a new skeleton. It’ll be way easier to maintain this way, and I can use Amazon S3 hosting, which is limited to static sites but is practically free if you have relatively light site traffic, like I do. (As someone who provides a specific B-2-B service offering, I cater to a particular segment of the Web-browsing public, and I don’t need millions of page views.)

Anyway. Like the site? Have a suggestion? Hit the contact link up there in the navigation bar, and drop me a line!