New blog, less FunnelWeb

Monday, Jun 10, 2013 3 minute read Tags: funnelweb docpad
Hey, thanks for the interest in this post, but just letting you know that it is over 3 years old, so the content in here may not be accurate.

If you’re not viewing this via the website (ie - you’re reading it in a RSS reader) you’re probably not going to notice but I’ve just done a new design and as a side project I’ve also decided that it’s time to do a shift in the platform.

You see, I’ve been using FunnelWeb for a few years now, and it’s been going smoothly, sitting there chugging along doing all that I’ve really needed from it, but in recent months I’ve decided that there was something that didn’t really want anymore… a database.

Since all the content for my blog was stored in a database I was at the mercy of my hosting provider, if something happened to them, they had hardware failures, a security breach, etc, I had no copy of my content that I could easily shunt somewhere else and get back online. Admittedly this has never happened but still, I felt that the lack of real ownership of my content, ultimately I didn’t have a copy of it… anywhere.

Over the last 12 to 18 months there’s been a real shift in how to manage content, especially for simple sites such as what my blog is. The idea is to use a static site generator and flat files for the content input. This then results in a bunch of HTML files that can then be served out for your site, I mean really it’s not like the content of my blog changes all that frequently so the idea of it being constantly generated on the fly doesn’t really make sense. Something like FunnelWeb seems like an overkill for what I need, a series of HTML files.

So what are your options? Well there’s a few out there:

  • Jekyll is a popular choice which is written in Ruby
  • Pretzel if you want to stick with a .NET base
  • DocPad is an implementation in Node.js, and this is what I went with (for no reason other than I used DocPad when it was v1 and wanted to see what’d changed).

All my content is now stored in a GitHub repo as a combination of Markdown and Eco templates (with a design from HTML5UP) and it gives me a lot of freedom about the content layout, more importantly I have copies of my content stored on my various devices, I have full history of the changes and it can be stored on any number of git hosts.

So as you read this you’re reading something that has been served from a static HTML file generated by DocPad, rather than some content pulled from a database that is parsed on request and a HTML result generated.

The future of FunnelWeb

With the move of my blog off FunnelWeb someone is bound to ask the question about the future of FunnelWeb. In fact the question recently came up on the mailing list, ultimately it comes down to that Jake and I consider it done. I plan to keep an eye on pull requests but at present there’s no plan to add new features going forward.