Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Switching to Eleventy

I finally converted this blog from WordPress to a static site generator. After completing two full read-throughs of the novel I don’t update this blog very often, and hardly anyone comments on it anyway. This way I don’t have to keep up with WordPress and plugin updates on a site that might as well be static, it’ll load a lot faster, and I can still add the occasional post easily enough.

But since I was building the layout from scratch I was able to make it super minimalist. I can’t get over how fast it loads even on a phone.

Some changes to keep things simple:

  • Comments are gone, though I incorporated some of my own responses into updates or stand-alone posts.
  • Tag/category archives are now tables of contents instead of collecting them all.

Tech Notes

I went with Eleventy. I used wordpress-export-to-markdown to convert the exported WordPress archive to Markdown (with images!), and built the simplest possible set of templates and styles.

These articles helped me get started: Taking WordPress to Eleventy (Josh Can Help) and How To Migrate From WordPress To The Eleventy Static Site Generator (Smashing Magazine).

eleventy-plugin-rss adds a feed, and I looked at some functions from eleventy-base-blog to build things like the tag archives and understand how to convert dates.

It took me about a day to get most of it together, which went a lot better than the times I tried with Jekyll and Hugo.

With a minimal HTML template and simple stylesheet, the posts are just as slim as an AMP page would be - plus no issues with ownership, redirects, duplicate content, etc!