Mild-Mannered Canadian Fury

Doug Stephen is Politely Peeved

Using Pow for Local Development of Static Content

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 Ā«permalinkĀ»

Just a really fast pro tip.

I love Pow. I’m new to Ruby, but Octopress has a built-in Pow configuration for local testing that auotmatically regenerates your blog on the fly. This makes previewing drafts (via isolate) or customization/theming a snap.

What I think is an understated feature of Pow, though, is that it has built-in knowledge of static assets. When you symlink a project root in to your ~/.pow directory, Pow automatically knows to look for static assets if there is a “public” directory at the project root. The upshot to this is that you can stick a whack of static HTML files in to that public directory and use it as a machine-local testing server.

Obviously there are other ways to go about this. You could use Apache, but unfortunately I don’t like Apache and don’t use it for any sites unless I need a full-fledged webapp backend (I’m a giant nginx geek but I still don’t quite trust the maturity of the FastCGI modules). You could also set up nginx. But the beauty of Pow is that it requires absolutely zero configuration. I also like the fact that you can use nice domain names like “” or “” instead of having to muck about with localhost and port numbers or manually editing your hosts file. It’s brilliantly easy to use Pow as a test platform for static sites while you’re developing locally, requiring nothing more than an installation and a symlink; crazy fast and crazy simple. Try it some time.