When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was planning to spin up a new website, he didn't miss a beat before suggesting I give Pelican a try. I assumed I'd be using Wordpress, as that's what I've dealt with in the past. It often seemed like overkill for what I needed, but it also seemed like the only option. However, between my relatively recent love of Python, and being the trooper I am, I agreed.

Pelican is a static site generator that runs on Python. You can create content using Markdown, and it uses customisable Jinja templates for theming. You can find more information on other features here. When it came down to it, the amount of Python involved in creating my site was minimal, and the amount of Jinja and CSS was significant. The caveat is that I couldn't find a theme what did what I wanted, so I settled for "as close as I could get" and then spent the rest of the time attempting to bully it into doing what I really wanted.

For the record, before this, I had no idea what Jinja was. If I had to describe it at this point in my experience, I'd call it HTML with variables. Wikipedia says it's a template engine for the Python programming language. I can see that. Anyway, the point is that my ancient and limited experience with HTML and CSS came in much more useful than my experience with Python.

I had some assistance from my friend, but much of my set up was completed by following the Pelican documentation. The docs are solid, so I don't feel the need provide a tutorial on setting up a website using Pelican. This ended up turning into a longer post than I intended, so I decided to split it up. In the next post, I'll give an overview of what I did to get the site going. Following that, I'll try to remember all the issues I ran into and the solutions I came up with.

Next up: quickstart overview!