Build


This website was originally built on WordPress and hosted on SiteGround. I had a lot of success with that configuration for a while after trying several other hosts (I’ve used Bluehost, DreamHost, and HostGator, which was the worst host I’ve ever used).

However, despite success with the Wordpress + Siteground configuration, it was largely frustrating to think about and maintain subscriptions for so many Wordpress plugins (I was maintaining subscriptions for my theme, a caching plugin, an image optimizer, an SEO plugin, and a page builder) on top of hosting.

I also had to frequently deal with updates and database errors, and the backend was often slow. The other frustration stemmed from the fact that such an environment was clearly not built for hosting content rich in \(\LaTeX\) and statistical outputs.

So at the end of last year, I migrated to Hugo, a static website builder that can build an entire website in milliseconds. Because of the static nature of the site, I no longer have to deal with plugins, databases, and typical security vulnerabilities that I would encounter with a content management system like WordPress.

Migrating from WordPress was a bit of a headache, since I had to convert all of my posts into R Markdown format (more on that below), and I had to learn a good deal of CSS, HTML, and Go (the language that Hugo is written in), but there’s no doubt that it was worth it.

Most of my posts are written in R Markdown via RStudio or Atom and the website is hosted on AWS Cloud via S3 + CloudFront. Unlike typical website hosts (such as SiteGround, BlueHost, etc.), the advantage of hosting on a cloud service with a pay-for-what-you-use model is that it’s easy to scale up or down depending on goals and needs at any point in time, whereas typical hosts lock you in to a particular plan.

Plus, it’s AWS, the cloud service that Netflix, Slack, the FDA, NASA, Samsung, and several other giants, use. The CDN it offers (CloudFront) is fantastic.

The fonts on the site are provided by TypeKit and Bootstrap. Images on the website are served via Cloudinary, which optimizes images depending on the user, and serves images via several CDNs, including industry leaders such as Akamai.

The search engine on the site is powered by Algolia, which I recently moved to from Google Custom Search Engine. Comments are powered by Disqus.

The forum for this website is powered by Discourse and hosted on a Digital Ocean cloud server.

That’s pretty much everything on this website.


See also: