Skip to content

Alex Normand

Switching to Zola

After almost a decade, I decided to migrate to something a little more modern and easy to use. The previous version of this site was based on:

  • grunt
  • wintersmith
  • purecss
  • Various grunt, babel and npm modules, most of which are outdated, not maintained nor are necessary for such a simple site.

I definitely needed something more simple and straighforward. After considering Hugo & Hakyll I stumbled upon Zola which provides all I ever dreamed of:

  • A single executable binary with every included
    • syntax highlighing
    • Jinja2 inspired templating
    • sass compilation
    • no third-party plugins

Zola is incredibly easy to use. I only had to download the latest binary for linux and move it to /usr/local/bin.

$ zola init
$ cd
$ zola serve

The rest is clearly documented and easy to reason about.

Building this site with zola takes ~100ms (on an very old macbook pro running Debian stable) which is a fraction of the time it used to take to build.

I also migrated to netlify which is more adapted to my needs (this site was previously hosted on Google App Engine). I simply need to git push to my github repo master branch and netlify will build and deploy the changes automatically in seconds.

Zola and netlify make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. An additional bonus to all this is a perf improvement in page load :).