How to setup a hexo-based blog: Part 2

Previously we have setup and published the hexo-based blog. The article source code and the hexo configuration files are under git version control.

Config theme, the wrong way

As most hexo tutorials, the next step is to change the default theme. There are lots of themes that you can choose from. However, most of the theme simply ask you to clone itself under the themes folder.

In this case, we will use the popular theme NexT. Its document specified follow below steps:

  • Install

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    git clone https://github.com/iissnan/hexo-theme-next themes/next
  • Update the _config.yml to use this theme

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    theme: next
  • Pull the theme update when it is needed

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    cd theme/next
    git pull

The problem

For most of themes (including NexT), we will have to modify the theme’s _config.yml file which is under the theme folder, in order to:

  • change the configuration on the theme level, such change theme style
  • update personal information
  • setup Google Analytic key
  • integrate with 3rd party commenting plugin
  • future customize the theme the way you want

Naturally, you would like to have above modifications also under version control, so you check them in and push to Git.

Now, if you head to Github source code page, you will find an interesting grayed-out folder named “Next”

You also lost the possibility to browse the theme source code there.

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How to setup a hexo-based blog: Part 1

Hexo is a simple and powerful blog framework that allows you setup your blog quickly and easily.

Why Hexo?

Instead of create the blog in https://wordpress.com/, I decided to setup and own the whole blog website. You can read a good discussion by Avinash Kaushik.

However, own a web site on interent is not easy. Normal maintenance tasks, such as backup database (your content) and apply security patch, are too much to a part-time blogger. Therefore, Hexo became a good solution:

  1. Customization: Hexo and its components are open-source. You can customize your blog the way you want.
  2. Light-weight: Hexo is a static blog system. It does not require any server-side code, or a database. Git is the best mechanism.
  3. Safety: Hexo only publish static files to internet, such as html, css and javascript. It is much less vulnerable compares to any rumtime web application.
  4. No compromise on functionality: Even it is a static site, but you can still embed 3rd party services for common blog functionalities such as commenting and web analytic.
  5. Cost: Together with Github page, host your blog is free. If you are not a fan of the yourname.github.io domain name, you can also pay a little to have your own domain.

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