[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 19 March 2016]
Update Jan. 29, 2018: The site now lives on Netlify. Killer feature: Instant cache invalidation. /update
Update May 29, 2016: Captain Can’t-Leave-Well-Enough-Alone decided to move the site to GitLab Pages instead of GitHub Pages. /update
It’s not like this blog is blowing up the Internet or anything, but dagnabbit, I’m happy to have it.
Happy to have it since I want to have a place on the Internet to call my own, where I can post whatever I want and have it belong to me. It’s not content on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or whatever is hip at the particular moment you read this that is owned by those particular companies—it’s content that belongs to me and is on a place I control.
It’s a tiny victory, sure, but it’s a victory, and it matters. What’s mine is mine. I share it, but it belongs to me, not some venture-funded behemoth.
And it should belong to me: I’m the one who spent the time creating it.
But at the same time, I don’t want to spend the time and money to run my own servers unless I have to. In 2003, when I started this blog, I very much had to. As far as I knew back in 2003, there was no way to run a blog on the Internet under your own domain without spending money on a web host. That was the reality back then.
Because of this as well as my nerd instinct for Always Making Things Better, The Core Dump has lived on many hosts through its life, including a sad server in a friend-of-a-friend’s data center, an even sadder server in a friend’s bedroom, then at an exciting hosting startup’s data center, which startup then failed, and I had to put the files at yet another startup’s data center, then on a machine at Amazon, then as files on Amazon S3, moving on to files on Google Cloud Storage, and now, as we speak, on GitHub.
The files are tired at this point. The files want to rest. The files are just settling down at GitHub, pulling their blankets up, staring at the threadbare tents over their heads, hoping this will be the place where they get to stay for a while.
Which all just goes to prove the point that if you own your domain you can move your files anywhere you want and nobody has to be the wiser. On the Internet, this is what freedom looks like.
Seriously, own your domain. The Internet is your playground as long as you own your domain.
The deal with GitHub Pages is that you can host your site for free, as long as the site is static, and if your site is a Jekyll site, GitHub Pages will build it for you. That’s right, not only will GitHub host it, but GitHub will build it! This means if you’re a nerd, you can just update the Git repo of the site, and GitHub will spend the money on cycles to turn it into this site.
The reason this is huge is that (a) it means I don’t have to keep Jekyll up to date on my machines so I can build the site whenever there’s a new post, and (b) it means I can blog from my phone without having to keep a Virtual Private Server around. Being able to use GitHub Pages from my phone, is very, very exciting. There’s a post coming later about why this is such a big deal for me.
Finally, enjoy the fact that this whole move affected you not one iota and if you hadn’t happen to read this post, you wouldn’t even have known anything was changing. That’s the magic of owning your own domain.