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Re: [opennic-discuss] New Homepage - Gathering Opinions

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  • From: Jonah Aragon <jonaharagon AT>
  • To: discuss AT
  • Subject: Re: [opennic-discuss] New Homepage - Gathering Opinions
  • Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:13:34 +0000

The main reasons I was using Jekyll were:

 1. because it makes it easier to add new pages if necessary, completely written in Markdown
 2. we could keep a blogging system of some sort for press releases and important updates (as illustrated at which wouldn't have to be written in HTML. I'm fully aware we underutilize our current blogging system but I think it should be used more and plays a fairly important role in PR (which I'm attempting to start/lead again, so I'd like somewhere to write press releases).
 and 3. it's natively supported by GitHub Pages, which I figured we could use as a hosting solution either by itself or behind a reverse proxy on our webservers (Varnish, Nginx, or otherwise).

Jekyll also builds the static site into the _site directory if you build it on your computer or servers anyways, so the end result is the exact same. Think of using Jekyll as something similar to coding any project, you have the source code but it gets built/compiled into the final product. Jekyll just provides a way to edit the source in a way that might be easier for more users to handle.

We certainly don't HAVE to use Jekyll, I can rework the site as just static HTML pages relatively easily. But the end result is the exact same, you'd still be serving static pages as opposed to dynamically created sites like WordPress either way, so it seemed like a win-win, if it also made maintenance even a tiny bit easier :)

On your other points I agree, I like the idea of a static homepage for the project that gives an overview of OpenNIC while linking to relevant wiki articles for further details more than using the Wiki entirely, and I tried to keep that in mind when building the site. I think it not only makes things more reliable (no need to rely on content generators or databases), and also might make things clearer for new users (I just think some people might find the wiki somewhat intimidating, but I dunno, I also tend to underestimate people), especially as some, if not most of the wiki is fairly out of date.


On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 9:52 PM Fusl Dash <opennic AT> wrote:
Hi Jonah,

I have to admit the design looks not bad but what is the reason we need Jekyll for this?

I do understand if we'd be using Jekyll to generate multiple versions of the same page in lets say different languages but this is static HTML content generated by more or less static code that needs to be parsed and IMHO using Jekyll for this is just overkill and should be removed.

There is currently two ideas on how we want to host the front page:

- As a simple overview and front page in the WikkaWiki
- As a static HTML page in GitHub that the auto-scaling pulls into Varnish when booting new instances

We probably go with the 2nd choice as it allows us to take down WikkaWiki for maintenance without having to break the frontpage as well and both systems are going to be running independently.

On 2017-02-19 01:56, Jonah Aragon wrote:
> Hi!
> I've been working on a new design and system for the homepage, and I wanted to gather some opinions on what works, what doesn't, and what you think about replacing our current WordPress site (at You can check out my design at
> Some background:
> The WordPress site currently host a simple homepage, a basic membership system (essentially providing a profile frontend for the LDAP system), and a blog that's rarely been used. WordPress creates a lot of load on the servers and is just in general bloated. MySQL databases, dynamically generated pages, none of this is needed for our homepage, especially if we try to move everything to the wiki. In addition, the website (mainly the aforementioned login system) is susceptible to XSS attacks, among other vulnerabilities. Coupled with the massive amount of security holes that just appear to show up in WordPress all the time (, I'm honestly surprised we haven't migrated to anything else already.
> My site (code at is complete static HTML (which is compiled with Jekyll) homepage. It includes all the important features of our current site, even the closest servers information, with a cleaner, simpler design and setup. It places more emphasis on our top level domains, and it still includes a blogging system for future Press Releases and updates (which I think we should utilize more):
> Because it's a static site, the security risks are nonexistent and it can be hosted anywhere. If this were to gather relatively good opinions from all of you, I'd push it to our organization at so anybody would be able to edit it (via Pull Requests). Ideally we could setup a system to automatically pull (from GitHub) and build the site on our webservers behind some lightweight server like Nginx. That way we'd be able to keep the existing servers and TLS functionality (which GH Pages does not support with custom domains) everything is just more open, compared with random WordPress administrators who as far as I can gather fall between the "not having enough time to update the site" and the "have no idea how to operate WordPress" categories.
> Anyways, this was a really long email about a really simple topic. Sorry about that.
> Hopefully all of you are on board,
> Jonah
> P.S. Also this would be the perfect time to switch to our <> domain for the homepage and add some 301 redirects when we move, that'll just look nicer in general (and there'd be no need to move all the sites to that domain, at least not right away).
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Best regards

Fusl - root AT -

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