Switching To Squarespace

If you happened to see this site around the time when the first post went up, you might notice that:

  1. The site looks very different now.

  2. A lot of what’s in that first post no longer seems to be true.

For example, this is not the Rusty theme for Hugo. Those technically savvy would also notice that the site no longer has the same DNS record value as laifu.moe where things were originally hosted. That’s because the site is no longer running on my own web server and is not created using Hugo. There were a few reasons for this. The main was just that I’m really bad at web design. The Rusty theme in Hugo is pretty light on imagery, which I’m cool with. Once we decided to actually make Unusually Pink into a thing and do a podcast, though, we had our amazing logos made by the uber-talented JPFDesigns. Integrating those into the Rusty theme for Hugo was a bit more than I was up for; CSS is legitimately the final boss of my life, and my life is (apparently) an NES Contra game; I couldn’t do it.

The other reason was just that it allows for much better reliability. The site isn’t beholden to my ability to not mess up my web server. Not that it’s particularly likely for me to do something to brick it (I’ve been using Linux and Nginx for my web servers for ages now), but it’s possible. I was also responsible for backups, which I’d prefer to take off of my own hands if possible.

The last reason was that the site really needed to be divided from one main section (e.g. the blog I originally planned just to do something with the domain) to two sections: a blog and a list of podcast episodes. While I was able to just dump a /podcast directory into my static folder for Hugo, it meant that posting podcast episodes and summaries was now an entirely manual process rather than something assisted by a CMS-esque system like Hugo.

Swapping to Squarespace allowed me to let someone far smarter than me figure out all of that within a theme; all I had to do was upload some images (Squarespace is awesome at scaling images for me, even when it needed to make one tiny for the favicon) and then swap around a few of the colors in the theme to get something unusually pink. I was also able to simply add two blogs to the site; one is a normal blog and the other will have posts for each podcast episode. In this way, both sections of the site are managed by a CMS rather than being done manually. Doing it manually may not seem like too big of a deal at first, but once you start to get too many posts for a single page, creating and manually updating the pagination after each new post would be enough to drive someone insane.

As for choosing Squarespace, it’s the one I’ve heard the most about through various avenues on the Internet. Their pricing was reasonable, and I figured it seemed like a safe bet since I know a few other people who have experience with them. The other recommendation I got was Wix, which I admittedly had never heard of previously. Looking at the pricing for Wix compared to the pricing for Squarespace, though, I think it’s clear that Squarespace is a better deal. The Wix $11 USD per month package is pretty lackluster, especially when you look at 2 GB of bandwidth and 3 GB of storage. To get something more comparable to Squarespace’s $12 per month package that includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, you’d need the $14 per month plan from Wix… and that still doesn’t give you unlimited storage.

Expect the site to still go through a few minor changes as we continue to tweak the layout, colors, and everything else. Feel free to drop any feedback to our Twitter profile!

It's all about being Unusually Pink.

This domain was a completely random purchase. Earlier today while taking a break from work (which was sorely needed… I had 3 weeks off over the holidays, and coming back today was not easy), I decided to hop on Mastodon for the first time in quite a while. A friend of mine who was previously on the same instance as me had apparently swapped to a different instance during the month or so that I was gone. I just happened to get lucky enough that another individual I follow happened to boost a toot from him; this friend was using the same avatar on his new instance that he used on the previous instance, so I immediately knew it was him. In seeing what instance he was on, I was a bit surprised. It had a .pink TLD. I had no idea .$COLORS was a thing now.

I hopped over to my registrar of choice (Namecheap) and saw that I could snag a domain for just $2.88 USD. It was a no-brainer. This was especially true because another friend of mine has a saying about the color pink. She doesn’t normally enjoy pink things, but she likes things which are (to quote her) “unusually pink.” A pink heart? Boring. A pink Razer keyboard and mouse combo? Unusually pink and therefore extremely cool. (If you happen to be curious, I own both that keyboard and mouse. They match wonderfully with the pink LEDs in my gaming desktop. Bonus points to me if I’m using them to play Overwatch while wearing my pink Mercy t-shirt.) Hopefully she wasn’t too mad that I snagged this domain. If you’re reading this, I’m sorry. But I did offer up a sub-domain of her choice should she want one!

At any rate, I made the purchase but had no idea what to do with it. After rolling a few things around in my mind, I decided that I would just make a blog on it. I used to blog a lot back in my college days, and I managed to garner enough readership that a few companies would occasionally send me free anime and video games if I promised to write a review on my blog. I lost my luster for writing a few years back, but maybe this will motivate me to do it more frequently. I already had the hosting space available on my VPS currently running laifu.moe, which doesn’t need all of the resources on the server by a longshot. Plus, I found this sick theme! It’s Rusty from the Hugo Themes gallery. It also gave me an excuse to learn how to use site blocks in Nginx as I’ve used Nginx for years but never with multiple sites on the same server. Spoiler alert: it’s super easy to do.

Hopefully I’ll put up more posts in the near future! They’ll be… unusually pink.