14 July 2010

This blog used to be hosted on the Jekyll-powered Github Pages, and I was using the Custom Domains feature to have it appear under with the DataMangling domain name. I’ve switched to
hosting it with Heroku so that I can save myself $84 per year.

Github only let you use Custom Domains if you’ve got a paid account. I had a micro (7$/month) plan, initially because I wanted to keep a couple of my repositories private, but I don’t need to do that anymore. I’m on a bit of an economy drive at the moment, so the monthly payment to Github has been a casualty of my belt-tightening.

The only tangible consequence is I can no longer alias my own domain name to the blog. This is a bit annoying after I’d gone to the trouble of finding a dotcom domain that had the word data in it. The solution is to host the blog on Heroku, as the free tier of service is more than sufficient, and I can use my own domain name.

The only question was how to get Heroku to serve the Jekyll blog properly?

Enter Rack-Jekyll. By depending on the rack-jekyll gem and adding a config.ru for Rack awareness the transition was smooth and painless. The only steps involved were:

  • Add rack-jekyll to the .gemfile
  • Add a config.ru as described in the rack-jekyll page
  • Make sure the _site directory is checked into git
  • Create a new heroku app and add my custom domain name
  • Update DNS to point to Heroku
  • Push to Heroku

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