Goodbye Pagekit, Hello Bolt CMS

The months' long process of transferring from Pagekit to Bolt CMS.

Many months ago, I began the process of moving over to Bolt CMS from Pagekit. This is a follow up post, now that all is said and done.

Why The Move

In a previous blog post, I had sung praise about Pagekit for its simplicity, light weight and ease of use. I wanted a content management system that was lighter weight and less bloated than wordpress. It had to be PHP based so I could run it on cheap cpanel-based shared hosting. Pagekit fit ticked all the boxes. So why the change of heart?

Developmentally Challenged

Soon after settling into pagekit, I became aware that pagekit development has slowed to a crawl. It might as well be non-existent.

I was made aware after browsing extensions in the Pagekit marketplace. In particular, one pagekit extension developer's website warns you of pagekits demise:

Browsing various forums made it very clear: Pagekit was no longer being actively developed (occasionally minor bugfix updates are released), and the developers seemingly had no intention of turning the project over to the community. Pull requests were being left ignored.

If I intended to run for the foreseeable future, it was clear that staying on Pagekit was a bad idea. The longer I used Pagekit, the harder migrating to a different platform would become. Eventually pagekit would be completely abandoned, and I would be at the mercy of exploits and unpatched bugs.

Enter Bolt CMS.

Hello, Bolt CMS

Bolt CMS is a Content Management System based on top of Symphony. It fit all the same boxes that Pagekit did. It's lightweight and simple. It uses PHP so it works with my cheapo hosting.

Most importantly, it is actively developed with version 4.0 in the middle of development.

It also ticks some boxes that Pagekit didn't. Pagekit's documentation leaves something to be desired. Bolt is well documented, and with minimal effort I was able to begin the process building my own theme from scratch. Theme

Speaking of themes, Bolt's theming system is awesome. If you've ever used Django's templating system, you'll be right at home in Bolt. Bolt uses Twig templates, which have similar syntax. Bolt's built-in Twig functions abstract away the complexities of retrieving content. Content is defined using a config file, in which the structure and fields of each contenttype are defined. This flexibility means your blog doesn't have to be just a blog, you can create other content types, such a gallery, quickly and easily.

Bolt's default 2019 theme uses the Bulma CSS Framework. As I am much more comfortable with Bootstrap, I built my own theme from scratch, using Bootstrap as my framework.

The New Website

Finally, welcome to the new website! It's still not completely finished, and as of this moment, search is still broken, but its live. The website is broken down into three general sections:

  • Articles: This is an article. This is where blog posts will go. Write ups on teardowns, interesting problems and solutions to problems. On the new website, we now have a table of contents, warning bar, and other cool features!
  • Resources: These are various pages with links, and utilities. I'll have a writeup on this when the first resources are released.
  • Teardowns: These contain a gallery of photos detailing the teardown and internals of electronics. This is intended to help others open up and fix their own devices. The teardown page will include the gallery and a small write up of any notes I may have.

Going Smoothly

The website is not completely finished, but things are progressing smoothly. As of this post, all content from the old pagekit-based website has now been moved over. The move has had the unintended side effect of breaking old links. But, with this, now has a solid base on which to grow and expand. Improvements and fixes will come in the following days and weeks.

Great things to follow. That's it for now.

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