Start Blogging With Octopress

Old days

All files of Wordpress were in server side, whenever I want to make changes, I had to ssh to my remote machine.

I use a Linode VPS shared by some friends, sometimes, tragedies like "failed to start-up after reboot", "system needs to be re-installed" happened. I didn't want to lose any file, so, I relied on git, after changes were made directly on server, git pull on my Macbook Pro would get all things backed up locally.

To write posts, I used Wordpress editor at first, but it sucked, I like leaving one blank line between every paragraph, it couldn't.

I tried org-mode by using "org2blog" package, since I use Emacs a lot, it was an amazing writing experience. But when my blog post became long, and with lots of code snippets, problem occurred, Emacs ate up all CPU resources making system hung during org2blog-post-buffer occasionally.

Then I tried MarsEdit, it's really fantastic, but it's kinda expensive.

At last, I decided to write blog posts using HTML, every problems were solved immediately. I can edit in Wordpress, Emacs, even one Wordpress app on iPhone.

While I was using org-mode, I kept all blog posts locally, but HTML is unreadable by human, so, I no longer kept blog posts, just left them in server.

Furthermore, I couldn't use flyspell-mode to check spells in Emacs, it got confused by HTML tags.

In server, all blog posts were contained in MySql database, Every time I submitted one blog post, I dumped it and saved in my Dropbox.

I felt uncomfortable using Wordpress, all I wanted is to write one or two articles a month, I bought a host, setup one database, edited configure files to connect to it, updated and installed plugin of Wordpress by hand, it's overkill.


I am learning ruby recently, when I looked for some stuffs, Octopress appears a lot, I was curious, and did some research. It's definitely what I want!

  • Markdown is simple and readable
  • All changes are made locally
  • Track changes by Git
  • No database at all
  • Simple and small
  • Hack in Ruby
  • I like rsync
  • ...

You can search it on Google, there are couples of blogs, like this and that

I tried to convert all previous blog posts in Wordpress to Octopress, but failed, since most of them are written in Chinese. But luckily, I was lazy, there are not a huge number of blog posts, so, I think I can rewrite them using Markdown, to learn Markdown, and to drop some blog posts I believe is not useful at all.

About theme, yes, most sites adopt Octopress are using the default theme, I am not uncomfortable with it, but the font size is too big, I think I need to make a change later.

Now I have one git branch named mergeold, all moving work happens there. And in master branch, I can continue update new blog posts. Is it magic?