January 1, 2020

Why I switched to Jigsaw

A few weeks ago I decided to move my blog from custom-built Laravel CMS to Jigsaw - static website generator by Tighten. I actually never thought I would ever move to static website, however after writing my first book, I realised that writing in Markdown actually has a lot of benefits, as it allows me to focus on the content instead of layout.

Before moving to Jigsaw, I tried a few other platforms, such as Ghost and Next.js, however they didn't work for me for number of reasons. Unfortunately, Ghost is too limited, and do not provide flexibility I needed, for example: there is no way to create custom post types, or add custom fields to posts.

I also decided to make a complete re-design of the website. While the previous version was built on Bootstrap 4, the new version is built without any CSS frameworks.

So, what are benefits of using static website generator and writing in markdown? I would highlight the following:

  • The website is really blazing fast;
  • It's easy to host (I use Github pages with custom domain attached);
  • Easy to write and manage all the content;
  • Easy to deploy (I configured auto-deployment via Github Actions);

Things I really like in Jigsaw:

  • Built-in search feature;
  • Easy to customize;
  • Supports custom post types (collections);
  • Supports custom meta information for posts;

However, there is one thing which could not be handled by static website. I'm talking about handling form submissions. Of course, there are a lot of services to do this, like Formspree, FormKeep and many other.

However, I decided to wrote a few serverless functions hosted on Cloudflare Workers to handle form submissions:

  • One function is used to handle a contact form submissions: it just sends emails with form details to me and to the sender.
  • And another function serves "Subscribe to Newsletter" form - it makes a POST request to SendFox API.

By the way, I wrote a quick article about handling form submissions using Cloudflare Workers.

To conclude, I would say - Jigsaw is absolutely great tool, which I recommend to check out. By the way, I wrote a quick tutorial, which explains how to host and deploy Jigsaw website on Github pages.

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