Automating this static website

Fri, Feb 5, 2021 2-minute read

I use the Hugo website generator to create this website out of a bunch of Markdown fils. A lot has been written about this approach, but the main advantages are that the site can load quickly even when it’s serving a lot of traffic, and you don’t have to worry about bugs in the blog software when there isn’t any. The downside is that you can’t post to it as easily when you’re out and about on a mobile device.

I wired up a nice little workflow for making it as easy easy to post here with my iPad as to a Wordpress site:

  • I write the blog post in Markdown in the Drafts app.
  • When done, I run an action that triggers a Shortcut which adds it to a Git repo in the Working Copy app, commits it, and pushes it to my Gitea server.
  • A cron job on the web server runs a git pull from Gitea, runs Hugo to generate the site, then copies the output to the web server.

So the plumbing is a little more complicated than just opening a website form and clicking a “post” button, but from the user’s perspective it’s every bit as simple. iOS and iPadOS are starting to get a nice ecosystem of Unix-style “do one thing and do it well” tools that can be strung together with scripting.