Why I rewrote my website

2017-11-13


I've had a website for around 4 years now, starting with a python CGI-based site hosted at 1&1, and evolving into it's current form, powered by Hugo.

Although I'm a web developer, I'm very far from a designer. I really can't design anything!

Alternatives

In the past, I've used services like StartBootstrap and HTML5UP. These allow me to just throw together a site, and not really worry how it looks, because the design is done for me. The issue with these is that any slight modifications I need to make to the theme, end up spiralling out of control and wrecking the theme.

Solution

After deciding to do yet another redesign, I had an epiphany. Rather than using a fancy, modern-looking design, let's use something simple! The Hugo theme Vec looked almost perfect. I used Vec as a base for a complete redesign of my site. Rather than actually using Vec, I used Bootstrap to replicate it closely, with a few optimisations of my own.

Making the design this simple means there's very little to go wrong. If the whole site looks so simple, it's very hard for it to look quite so bad.

Implementation

I implemented it in just over 2 weeks, in a single PR. In this refactor, I also fixed many things I didn't like about my sites build process. I even installed a compressor for deployment.

Overall I'm really happy how the rewrite looks, It's far nicer and more original than my previous sites. Now, to push it live!

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