Firstly I’d like to say a big hello and welcome back! I know it’s been a while but I’m back with a new design, which I really love as well as a new tech stack behind the scenes which I’d like to tell you a little more about.
Before we dive in though, a little background. The previous version of this website was built with Gatsby.js which is pretty awesome and I’m glad I took the time to try it out. The documentation and community is amazing with lots of starter templates for every website imaginable. It’s also based on React.js which is still growing in popularity so it’s somewhat familiar to most of us. I would still highly recommend it as a great framework.
When I decided to create a new design for this site and bring it back to life, it wasn’t my intention to completely re-code it. The plan was just to update a few of the components and CSS since that would be quicker. However I quickly found that it was taking longer and I wasn’t really enjoying the process. Plus I still felt like React was a little too much for a personal site that only had a handful of pages. So I decided it was time to dig out my list of new tech I’ve been wanting to try (which I know every developer has) and see if there’s a better option. Enter Eleventy (also known as 11ty).
The fact that there is such a huge prominence put on accessibility and performance is another reason for my choice. I love that the community encourages developers to get the highest lighthouse scores and make sure that the websites we create are accessible and performant.
In total, it took about 2 and a half weeks to completely re-code my entire site over to Eleventy (or more accurately 2 weekends and a few evenings) which I was really impressed with and it’s generally been a pleasure to work with! I decided to use nunjucks for templating and found it really easy to work with even though I had never used it before. I have also heard good things about it’s integration with netlify, although I didn’t go down that route so can’t speak from experience. I highly recommend giving Eleventy a go for anyone who is thinking of starting a personal site or a side project.
I wanted to leave a few links for both frameworks/generators that I found really useful in case anyone else was curious and wanted to try them out!
Now that the site is in better shape you can count on seeing some new posts a little more frequently. I also want to create some starter themes, templates and some other resources so do keep an eye out for those and if you have any suggestions of articles or resources you’d like to see feel free to fill out the contact form or reach out on my social media channels.