What's inside the Klein bottle?

New start with a different twist

written by Sam on 2020-08-15

I've been thinking recently about moving my blog from being hosted as a Wordpress site and instead deploying a custom made app using Python behind the scenes.

My first idea was to try and build a Django app, built completely from scratch, which made for some interesting experimentation. Unfortunately, I quickly realised that the limiting factor in building a new website from scratch was not my skill at writing Python code, but in making the html templates to make the page look the way I want. (This is not to say that building a Django web app is difficult, which it certainly isn't.) It was at this point that I got very busy with work, and my website project was shelved.

I didn't get another chance to think about the website for several months between September 2019 and June 2020. The chaos of the start of the academic year put the website to the back of my mind, and in the first few weeks I also had to think about writing applications for jobs for the next year. Towards the end of the Autumn teaching term I had my first (and last) interview of the year. Around the same time, I got a message out of the blue on LinkedIn inviting me to write a book about using Python for mathematics. I accepted this invitation, but this is a topic for another day.

Six months later I had mostly finished the book and was starting my new job as a research software engineer. This gave me some time to start thinking about other things, including my website. I returned to my original idea of rebuilding a website app from scratch using Django, and explored some of the content management systems built using Django (Wagtail and Django CMS in particular). However, the problem I experienced at very beginning has not gone away; I'm still bad at designing websites and styling them using HTML and CSS. Since my website is unlikely to be updated too frequently, I decided it would be better to instead generate it statically as simple HTML.

Finally, almost a full year after I first considered changing my website I decided to use the static site content management system Lektor to build and deploy my website. Hopefully this will prove to be a good decision.