On the off-chance you noticed a couple of hours’ downtime earlier today, that’ll be because I moved this site’s hosting over to Vercel(external link). I made the move for a couple of reasons:

  1. As I mentioned, I decided to move my writing repository over to GitLab, and if I was doing that I thought I might as well move my other personal projects at the same time. (GitLab also allows you to host larger repositories on their servers – useful if I keep this site going for years and upload lots of photos – and there are of course political reasons(external link) why lots of people hate Github.) However, the idea of having to rewrite my Github Workflows file for GitLab’s CI/CD system made me sad.
  2. I wanted a hosting solution that had a CDN integrated into it, so ordinary HTML pages can actually be cached (so they’ll load fast, from cache, on most pageloads) but the cache invalidates automatically when I update my site (so new posts can be seen on my home page/in feeds/etc. straight away, not hidden behind a stale cache). I never worked out how to achieve this when my hosting and CDN were separate, even though I figured it was possible by processing the output of rsync and sending the output as a list of URLs to purge through the CDN’s API.

At any rate: full credit to Vercel, they made deploying my site from my GitLab repository unbelievably easy. Updating the DNS records for my domain was just as easy, but DNS caching meant it took a couple of hours for the change to go live. As for “why Vercel and not Netlify” or any other similar platform, well… the usage limits on Vercel’s free platform were just a bit more generous. Not that I think I’d have gone over Netlify’s limits anyway, but it’s nice to have some peace of mind 🤷🏻‍♀️