YATB: Yet Another Tech Blog

Recently, I decided my old website wasn't cutting it anymore: it was all flash and no content. Instead, I've gone the total opposite way to transform my site into a minimalistic hub, highlighting the content.

So if you're reading this, I'd like to welcome you on the new loth.io site!

My old website, which was built using Gatsby + Emotion for animations.

Why the new site?

It's simple! I wanted to feature more information about me and the things I do in regards to public speaking. For this, my old website proved useless as it was fully focused on highlighting some key information points and some links to other sites.

On this site, you can expect the following:

  • Blogs about technology: frontend, backend, cloud, security and much more;
  • Blogs about culture: my thoughts and vision on engineering culture;
  • Off-topic posts about whatever;
  • Information about my sessions and upcoming speaking schedule;
  • Projects I'm working on, things I'm interested in.

I've also enabled newsletter subscriptions. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of receiving yet more emails, but I do know there's some content creators out there where I often miss out on updates because I don't follow them on social channels. If you're interested in my content and want to receive updates (I'm humbled!), click here to sign up. I won't spam you, I promise!

How it's made

Okay, I know the deal. It's a blog by an engineer, for engineers. So obviously I've got to do a technical breakdown on The Stack™️. It's actually pretty simple:

Ghost: my CMS of choice.

I'm all for cool static site builders and the customisability they offer. But for me, nothing can beat a great user experience, which is something I've experienced with Ghost in the past. It's an open source CMS that's focused on delivering a great experience for blogging. The backoffice –which I'm working in right now– is very clean and nice to use. The text editor is flexible and allows me to add several types of content. The tooling for SEO configuration and newsletter management is really easy to use. And most importantly: it's hassle free and I don't have to worry about tons of setup.

Which brings me to the point: how is it hosted?

Since Ghost is an open source platform, I'm able to set up things myself. There is an option to pay for Ghost on their own platform, but I like having the flexibility of changing things when I don't like it. This is why I'm hosting Ghost in the Microsoft Azure cloud!

There's a bit of setup required to do this, but luckily, there's tons of resources available on GitHub, like this one-click deployment tool to set up Ghost on an Azure App Service. It was easy to use: create a fork and deploy it to Azure from the repository URL. And the added bonus is I can change the code however I like, changing or updating dependencies and directly modifying certain themes and templates to my own needs.

Why go through all this trouble myself instead of using something like Medium? I believe in independent publishing and decentralisation of content. I'm often horrified when I read about content creators being banned by the algorithm on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, without any real options of getting back access to your data. So setting up Ghost in Azure is the sweet spot for me! I don't have to worry about keeping it running, but I am still in control of my own data and the functionality of my website.

What's next?

I'm not too keen on keeping a dedicated schedule on when I'm posting things. But, you can expect me to regularly™️ adding new tidbits of content. Do you want to hear my opinions on certain topics? Feel free to contact me and I'll consider writing about it!

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