“502 Bad Gateway”
This is what’s been greeting me every time I sheepishly check my personal website for one reason or another. I’m not sure when things broke, but it’s likely been a couple of years. The broken Nginx setup was probably the third or fourth iteration of ansonvandoren.com over the last five or six years, and just the latest one to have succombed to lack of interest, poor choices in hosting, incorrectly set up infrastructure, or a hot mess of all of the above.
The most recent iteration was an attempt to maintain a Ghost blog that racked up a total of about three posts and six total page views. I clearly don’t have time (or at least the inclination) to write regularly, but I always felt like I was missing out by not having anything to fill into the “Personal Webpage” section when signing up for a social network, updating my resume or LinkedIn, or to put in the signature line of my email.
Why this time is different
- I don’t need a blog, and I don’t plan to keep one updated. This site is mostly about the landing page, and the blog is just a side note.
- I do need a presence that I can point people to, even if only to keep my public-facing contact information in one spot. Again, the front page is a nice clean place that can represent “me on the internet.”
- Forgoing a full-featured CMS, I don’t need to worry about a SQL server, a special backend control panel, addons to make things work the way I want, etc. It doesn’t get much simpler than a static site, and Hugo makes it even easier (not to mention way more beautiful than I could do myself.)
- Since this entire page lives in a GitHub repo, I don’t need to worry about separate backups, remembering where I stored them, and how to rebuild everything when things go sideways. Worst case, reimage the server, install Nginx, and setup a few hooks.
What’s to come
Don’t hold your breath. I almost said I’d write up a few posts about getting things set up with:
- Hosting with DigitalOcean and serving on Nginx
- Building with Hugo and hugo-coder
- Setting up email handling with Mailgun
But… honestly, the links might be the most you ever get from me on the subject.