I have rebuild my simple website three times during confinement
Yep, we have placed ourselves in very weird times… who would expect that we get that much “free time” from one day to another?
I need to admit that it was a shock to me, from one day to another we had to become ‘specialists’ in remote work. At the beginning I felt a bit lost, because I had some ideas in my head, how
I would like to consume near future free time. Lesson learned, adaptation is the key for our mental wealthiness. I just evaluated everything, and adjusted my roadmap, taking into consideration things which I can do from home. One thing worried me a lot, since I’m quite an active person, doing every month ~900km on my road bike, how to manage to make it still possible locked up in a Madrid flat? Yes, it seems easy, just buy turbo-trainer, but unfortunately thousands of Spanish amateur cyclists have been thought about the same, and the market was wiped out from turbo-trainers in one moment. What I did, after some time of analysis of the market, I noticed that only one reliable place left, where you can buy it is Decathlon. They were putting on stock couple turbo-trainers from time to time. So what I did was, set up a listener on their site, and at 6AM I got a notification, telling me that they changed the status of the product from ‘unavailable’ to ‘in stock’, and after 5 mins I become happy owner of Tacx turbo-trainer (FYI they gone from the website after 15 mins).
Ok, so my main physical need has been fulfilled, now let’s go to point two, my programming/technical TODO list. What was there? there was (and still is) a lot of things, but what bothered me the most, was my website state. To be clear my website has not been never an epic one… was more an ‘business card’ than something more complex.
First version was made using Wordpress, with a free template. Let’s say, I was not proud at all, but you know, an easy to do setup - won. Certain beautiful day I got an email from the company where I had my hosting, and they gave me a smash in face, with a new pricing policy. No, it was something that was ridiculous form me, paying that much for something which is not giving any profits, I decided to move to the github pages. Free github hosting was totally ok, for my static page. I faced another obstacle, it means that I have to create a website by myself, ok… new skill to learn I thought. Nop, I didn’t run into coding/scripting right the way, I started to shape the colors theme and raw look and feel for my website. Idea was to have something simple with colors which are going to be cohesive. I found a nice predefined (by someone with better taste) pallet on coolors.co website, having this, and shaped the structure of the page, I was ready to write some “code”.
I started with plain CSS+HTML, I had to refresh my rusty knowledge about these stacks. After a couple of hours playing with them, I realised that, website looks ok, but is becoming quite hard to maintain and scale. I also started some episodes where I add some Bootstrap components to make my development faster, and be able to gain responsive design almost for free. Part of my weekend has been burned, and I launched a website, which was ‘ok’. Next working week passed, and I realised that if I would like to add a section with my e.g. blog posts, it will require from me a lot of dev work, realising that, I started to do some research. Thankfully, John Sundell, released Publish, Swifty static website generator. I did first look into the repo, but I was quite sceptical, at first glance, the level of understanding the repo to be able to create your own Theme was overwhelming to me a bit. But even though, I start to explore some part of the framework, just for sake of curiosity. After a couple of hours playing with the repo, and example website, I decided that, this ‘thing’ has potential, and will be relatively easy to work on my website in the future, if I would decide (one day) to build something more complex. I need to admit that, at the beginning mapping my ‘handmade’ Bootstrap webpage was quite hard, but with time I got knowledge of how the framework works, and I started to move around with more confidence.
There is still a lot of work to make my Publish template code more ‘pleasant’ to read/work with, but I think that it was worth spending some hours to make my website generation process more flexible, and at the end easier to use. In the future blog posts, I will try to cover some of the topics about these migration processes.