It’s been years since I have thought of what the new look of my site should be. Something that’s really close to what it’s ended up today, the site that you’re visiting at the moment. To be honest, the final result is actually better than what i’ve imagined. It’s simple, fast, dark mode-able, and best of all: it’s a simple grid.
Most blog formats today are simple top-down-scroll formats, even on widescreen desktop size. I’m not sure if mobile-first movement since the beginning of 2010-ish when smartphone usage really took off, is the one to blame. But I personally think grid layout is best for widescreen, even if it’s just for a blog, since it leaves no significant blank spaces, resulting in more compact information and more pleasing to the eyes (because every post summaries are close to each other).
My previous site was built with blogspot. It was nice, fast enough, cheap (zero cost for hosting yet still allows custom domain), but very limited to customize. It was fine back then as I only needed it to do blogging. But now I’m thinking of adding more diverse content, not just blogging, there will be mockup demos, web app tools, etc. So I begin to look for another platform that is simple, fast, and using nowadays developer documentation standard format… you guessed it right, it’s markdown.
At first, I was thinking of creating my own tools / site generator from markdown myself. Two prototypes are actually done using 2 different languages: NodeJS and PHP. They both do well translating markdown files into HTML. The reason I decided to not continue on developing them is because of the tremendous amount of time I imagined I’ll be doing. Such as creating cli tools, hot reload function, theming, etc. All these are enough reasons for me to seek for existing alternatives.
I remembered I was once using Hugo to create technical documentations in my office. The reason I hesitated to go with it initially was because I was afraid that its tooling could be complicated and the site’s design could be hard to customize. But little did I know how wrong I was, the tooling is fast & simple, design is also basic HTML templating. So I decided to give it a shoot and I don’t regret it. Some customizations are still applied, i removed the flipping back page, because normal visitors won’t notice it at all, especially on their first visit. It was a nice feature with animation, but not really practical. I decided to put all menus upfront, from blog posts, about page, portfolio, open source and mockup.
This site will contain talks about life, ideas, software development stuff (which is what I do for a living), and other mumblings that may or may not be important to you. If you, by any chance, are IT people of any short, you may find something useful here and there. Otherwise, at the very least you can have a better picture of how software was built and some facts circling around it.
Thank you and stay awesome!