Pointless Circuits

Programming, Electronics and Breaking Things

May 6, 2014 - Comments - WebDev PHP About

On static blogging

TL;DR It’s hard to get far on 128MB.

In October of 2013 Tim and I Who’s that? decided we need a server. See, there’s a lot you can do with a machine running 24/7. We knew we wouldn’t be using it too heavily and didn’t want to spend much money, so we opted for a 128MB VPS. Soon it was running, using less than half the memory.

Obviously one idea was to run a blog on it, so we could write about what we do. We looked into some existing blog systems and tried out chirp. That’s when we learnt it’s hard to get far on a memory footprint that small. It was totally unusable.
In the naivety of youth, we decided to write our own blog system, specially tailored to our needs. Winter came and winter went. Finally, after we had nearly lost faith, we’re now done with a complete rewrite, the blog is running.

One thing we learnt the hard way is that everyone’s right about PHP. It hurts your brain and doesn’t do you many favours in getting the job done. Sure, we had no experience in web development, but PHP made that problem a lot worse than it could have been. We also learnt a lot of the web is dynamic. No one is talking about static websites these days, so guess which route we chose…
Defying all standard practices, we wrote a blog that is as static as things get. Thing is, it works well and serves pages a lot faster than any dynamic system ever could (on this footprint), so we’re content with our work on that aspect. Next time, though, we might well choose a slightly bigger financial investment over putting that much time and energy into a project like this.

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