Some months back I’d taken my blog offline, but it’s now hosted on GitHub Pages:
I’d known about their free web hosting but was unaware it was possible (and common!) to use a CNAME DNS record to map to a GitHub Pages site using a custom domain. For my blog, the important lines in the DNS record for ozzmosis.com were:
@ 3600 IN ALIAS zoomosis.github.io. www 3600 IN CNAME zoomosis.github.io.
The ALIAS line allows anyone visiting http://ozzmosis.com/ to be redirected to http://www.ozmosis.com/. Because I have “Enforce HTTPS” enabled on the Settings page for the GitHub repo of the web site, this in turn redirects to the secure site at https://www.ozzmosis.com/. Security certificates used by HTTPS are automatically generated by GitHub Pages and issued by Let’s Encrypt.
Many domain registrars also provide free e-mail hosting for domains registered with them. Combine this with free web hosting on GitHub Pages means you can quickly and easily set up a web site and email address for just the cost of a domain name (approx AU$25/year), with a domain name you control.
The advantage of using your own domain name means it’s portable. In the unlikely event GitHub Pages is discontinued I can host my web site elsewhere and keep using the same web site address. I can also choose to move my e-mail hosting elsewhere, keeping the same e-mail address.
Also it appears GitLab has its own free version of GitHub Pages, appropriately named GitLab Pages.
For this blog I’m using Jekyll for static page creation, currently using a modified dark version of the Minima theme.