From Jekyll To Pretzel

Jekyll, Pretzel Comments

Some time ago I told that I converted my blog from CommunityServer to Jekyll on Github Pages. However, I was not satisfied with that solution. Running a static site has one drawback: redirects for moved pages.

When you change the structure of a web site, you don't want old links to reference now invalid URLs. That's would be called link rot. Instead, you want that users following a link to an old location are redirected to the new page automatically.

Actually, there are plugins for Jekyll for redirection, the most popular is jekyll-redirect-from. However, what it does is creating an HTML page at the old location with a HTTP-REFRESH meta tag pointing to the new URL.

I don't like this solution because the status code of the HTTP response is 200, indicating that the old URL is still valid. I guess that Google or other search engines pay attention to the HTTP-REFRESH meta tag, but nevertheless it's a bad idea for SEO reasons.

Instead, a correct implementation would return the status code 302, indicating that the page moved permanently. Unfortunately that's not possible generally for static web sites.

That was the main reason I ditched Github Pages. I didn't want to go back to self-hosting on a virtual server, so I decided to move my site to Azure. Additionally I took the chance and replaced the blog engine too.

Not being a Ruby guy, I searched for a similar blog system but written in .NET. There are a few, but the most appearing to me was the Pretzel. Pretzel is an open source blog system, behaving more or less the same as Jekyll. Additionally it supports several extension points, which I as a developer really like.

I'll write about running Pretzel on Azure and different Pretzel extensions I wrote in some future posts.

TL;DR: I wanted to have more control over my website, therefore I moved from Github Pages to Azure, and from Jekyll to Pretzel.