A Major Rebuild

A site refresh

I realised a few months back that my personal website had stopped updating and that I needed to put in some work to get it back up and running. In addition, my domain name had expired and I had no idea how to migrate without some serious headaches. I revived the domain name, but realised the version of the site that was served was seriously out of date. It was an entirely static site and the pipeline I was using to update the content had stopped updating. In the interim I have moved institution and country and I came to the conclusion that I needed to either pull the site or update it with a more modern architecture.

I needed a plan to either migrate to a new site and recreate the posts or patch together what I already had. Most of my previous site was used as a place to store some of my papers rather than used as a blogging platform. I have never been a very diligent blogger and have often left sites languishing preferring to create new sites rather than updating old content. See this old github site which is now broken completely apart from the twitter feed.

I really didn’t want to move away from using Blogdown to update the site because I am so heavily invested in the R ecosystem and most of my analysis work uses it and Rmarkdown. I thought I would document a couple of the steps I took in the rebuild. In essence I just backed up and then deleted the site and re-downloaded the Hugo Academic template, adding in old posts and content very carefully. Most of the installation information below come directly from the blogdown book.

## Install from CRAN
install.packages('blogdown') 
## Or, install from GitHub
if (!requireNamespace("devtools")) install.packages('devtools')
devtools::install_github('rstudio/blogdown')

I then updated Hugo from within Rstudio

blogdown::update_hugo()

This is the version of Hugo that I am running:

blogdown::hugo_version()
## [1] '0.78.1'

Below is the theme that I ended up using, which is an update of the original theme. And this is the command I used to install it.

blogdown::new_site(theme = 'wowchemy/starter-academic')

There is a fair bit of customisation that needs to be done in the config/_default folder and the content/home folder. This is where you can choose to remove pages and content. The documentation is fairly easy to follow (here).

I use Netlify to serve the site as recommended by Yihui Xie and Blogdown. This seems to be fairly stable and I can get Netlify to build the site using Hugo in only a couple of seconds.

blogdown version:

Yihui Xie (2020). blogdown: Create Blogs and Websites with R Markdown. R package version 0.21.

Hywel Stoakes
Hywel Stoakes
Research Fellow in Phonetics and Phonology

Hywel Stoakes explores the sounds of speech in languages spoken today and the insights that may be revealed about our shared past.

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