[Tech Notes] How This Site Was Made

📌 Late June 2021
June 28, 2021

The base of the site

This site is only HTML and CSS.

Hugo stitches it all together:
This site began with Publii, which is a great easy way to generate a static site.
But wanting more control over the code, I switched to Zola, a wonderful static site generator.
For more flexibility and to assuage longevity concerns, I have now landed on Hugo for my static site generator.

Hugo assembles the blog from various pieces of HTML and Markdown, but each piece of the website’s template is handmade. (More on the virtues of handmade websites)

Built for speed

There are no database servers, Wordpress installations, Javascript libraries, streaming video, CSS frameworks, cookies, ads, trackers, beacons, web fonts, analytics scripts, etc. This makes Weather Complaints easier to maintain for me and faster for you.

Most pages score a 100/100 on Google Pagespeed Insights. I try to keep pages under 100KB unless they contain a bunch of images, which I will naturally take steps to reduce in size.

The site’s performance is tested regularly with various tools. Server-side compression is used to speed up the site’s load time.

Screenshot of this site’s old domain in Links, a text-only browser
This site even works in text-only browsers like Links (as long as they support https).

Tools used to make WeatherComplaints.com

I prefer open-source software and services that are budget-friendly for hobbyists and students and everyone. Here are some of my favorite tools that are used to make Weather Complaints:

  • GIMP image editor for editing images
  • Squoosh.app for optimizing images
  • Compress or Die, especially for optimizing .gifs
  • Pexels is a great source of completely free images that you can use with no royalties or attribution required.
  • RackNerd for the Virtual Private Server used as a web host. They often have deals posted on LowEndBox and LowEndTalk.
  • Caddy Server is our web server software; it makes configuring a site with HTTPS a breeze
  • The server runs the OpenBSD operating system, which is rock-solid and secure
  • Update: For convenience this site is currently hosted on Cloudflare Pages, but I may switch back to a self-hosted server at some point.
  • VSCodium, the open-source version of Microsoft VSCode
  • Mozilla Firefox. We also test the site with UnGoogled Chromium since most users have a Chromium-based browser.

More information about how this site was made can be found at the following posts:

If you have any specific questions about the site, please feel free to contact me.


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