I’ve been working on reviving my personal site and get back to blogging after a year of doing nothing worhty to post about. But I wanted writing to be as smooth and simple as possible. I knew from earlier experience that the static site generator Hugo would make it simple for me, but I wanted to have a workflow that was almost entirely automated so that the only thing I would have to do was write a new file, commit, and be done with it.
And I figured it out! I found the perfect match of my favorite code editor, repository, hosting and CI/CD flow to make sure I only have to care about one thing: writing!
Blog 1: Overview
I will be doing a couple of posts to deep-dive in the configuration, but these are the elements how I made my site as simple and smart as possible, while also keeping cost to a minimum.
1. Visual Studio Code (free)
Microsoft did a hell of a job with VS Code. It’s open-source code editor has been around for a couple of years now and has been my editor of choice ever since public preview.
2. Hugo (free)
Hugo is an excellent SSG made in Go which has been compiled for almost any platform. Content is generated from Markdown files. Highly recommend installing the Hugo Helper VS Code extension.
3. Visual Studio Team Services (free)
Microsoft has an excellent online source code version control system offering that you can use for free to use as (private!) Git repository with the added bonus of a complete test, build and release pipeline. If you’re coming from Github, this takes some time to get used to, but you can have multiple private repos, free time on Microsoft-hosted build agents, and a wide range of features.
4. Azure Web App + Azure CDN (less than a cup of coffee)
By leveraging Azure CDN for your website, you can really cut on cost. Take the F1 tier Web App, put Azure CDN in front, and you are serving your site for less than a buck / year – Microsoft charges you € 0,07 per 1 GB of outgoing data. And since your site is built with Hugo, everything is static and is supersmall.
5. Domain name
While not really necessary since you get a *.azureedge.net URI with your Azure CDN subscription, you might want to hook up your own domain. Did I mention you get free SSL with Azure CDN on your site?
Coming up next: creating your site
In the next blog, I will show you a VS Code + Hugo quickstart.