On Thursday, September 9, 2021, I discovered that Azure, Microsoft’s offering of host/cloud services for Open Source developers, and a favored partner of Grinnell’s IT department, had come up with a Static Web App deployment scheme that allegedly would rival what I’ve been using at DigitalOcean. So, I first tried to migrate my very simple Static Landing PageHugo static site to a new home on Azure. The process wasn’t quite as slick and easy as at DigitalOcean, but Azure does nicely leverage GitHub Actions, and the process wasn’t too difficult to grasp.
Moving my blog turned out to be just as easy as the landing page. The entire process took just an hour or so. Some cleanup of hard-coded links and similar data is still pending, but for the most part the experience has been almost as good as what I did at DigitalOcean.
My First Azure Account
Encouraged by the ITS Department, I registered my first Azure account under my email@example.com email address on March 20, 2020. That account was registered under the college’s existing “home” organization named Grinnell College, also identified as GRINCO.ONMICROSOFT.COM. Because my first year of “free” services under that account had long expired, in September 2021 I elected to open a new account as indicated below.
A New Azure Account and Portal
Nothing of any consequence was ever created under my firstname.lastname@example.orgAzure account, the services I needed were not available back in early 2020. So, that account still exists but has nothing of value in it at this time.
As mentioned above, on 2021-09-09, I created a new Azure account, also under the Grinnell College organization umbrella. This account is registered to my email@example.com email address. Unlike my earlier account, this one has a Portal with some actual content.
Static Landing Page
The sole occupant, so far, of my AzurePortal is named static-landing-page and clicking on its link and toggling on the JSON view (a handy feature) shows these details:
Please note the name and location of the GitHub repo this newest edition is built from: https://github.com/Digital-Grinnell/dlad-blog. This is also a private repository. The only problem I encountered when I moved my repo to this location was that all my posts inherited new commit dates, and all have the same commit date, so my automatic sorting by commit date (see the enableGitInfo = true setting in config.toml) went bonkers. I’ve since disabled that sort until I can get my repository commit history back to what it was before the move.
So, the deployment of my blog took a few iterations that do not all appear here. In my last deployment I found the key to making things work the first time, and I captured some screens along the way.
First, in order to create a new Static Web App you have to “find” the right form. Use the search feature to do so, like this:
Then, in the case of a Hugo static site, after you have identified your project repository you need to select Hugo from a list. Unlike DigitalOcean, this is by-no-means “automatic”, so be sure you set your Build Presets to “Hugo”, like so:
The other “App”, “API”, and “Output” fields can all be left to the defaults as shown above.
Last, but not least, there’s Rootstalk! Note that it is built from the main branch of a new GitHub repo at https://github.com/Digital-Grinnell/rootstalk! Note that it should be given a .grinnell.edu address of rootstalk-DEV for now… I’m not quite ready to make it the public-facing edition of the digital magazine just yet.