This site was created with the static site generator, Hexo. Static site generators (SSGs) are framework engines that use text input files such as markdown, to generate static web pages. With no back-end processing they create responsive sites optimized for content delivery networks and can be hosted in Azure with a folder on a standard tier Azure storage account, which makes for a very low hosting expense.
I considered ASP.NET MVC, which I had more experience, but it seemed like more overhead than needed for a landing page & blog. I didn’t want out-of-the-box hosted options like Square Space, Wix or Wordpress because I wanted to host it on my Azure account and not be limited in customizing it in the future.
This is my first experience with Hexo or any SSG and it’s also my first blog post. So far I’m pretty happy with the choice. It was easy to install, generate and load the demo site. It has a lightweight command line interface and comes with its own localhost server for previewing. It did take me a while to get the hang of the framework’s folder structure and learn how to customize the page layouts.
There are hundreds of Hexo Themes on GitHub. Finding a theme that is close to what you want will save you a lot of time. Initially, I started with the Corporate Theme, but had features I didn’t want and found it difficult to remove parts of the layout without problems. I ended up using a much simpler theme to start with, Minima and then made a few customizations.
Helpful Hexo Links: Hexo docs: The official documentation is a bit dry and light on explanation, but I found a lot of helpful user-generated articles and videos. These video tutorials from Mike Dane were easy to follow and helped me get going with it.