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New year, new site

Warning

This blog is fairly nerdy/boring.
Not your cup of tea? Look at some pictures instead.

Happy 2015. I’ve just updated my site, which was one of my goals for 2014. Made it live just in time!

My blog was on Tumblr, which served me well but it was definitely time for a change. Tumblr is great for sharing things quickly and easily, (I still use it for Daddy Daycare Tuesdays), but I was getting frustrated with how little I could control, especially images, which is mostly what I share anyway.

I loved Tumblr’s simplicity though, the fact that I didn’t have to play with databases and servers was a definite bonus and helped me to focus on content. So going back to something like Wordpress seemed like a step in the wrong direction.

I was considering building a static HTML site, so it would be simple, fast and I could control anything I wanted. But updating it in the future would be a bit of a nightmare. Then I discovered Jekyll.

Jekyll website

Jekyll is a static site generator that runs on Ruby. It basically let’s you create templates and write blog posts (in markdown or HTML) and then compiles everything into a static HTML site that you can host anywhere.

It’s not the most straight forward thing to get started with, (the docs aren’t that detailed) but there are many helpful blog posts out there, and once it’s all set up it works like a dream. I can now edit a header or footer file, and Jekyll updates every html page that shows it. I can also write Markdown blog posts in my favourite app IA Writer, which is a bonus.

Design

I wanted this new site to be fairly minimal, with a focus on the content, especially images. My previous design had a green nav bar, which was ok, but it clashed if the content didn’t go with the green, so I decided to strip away most of the colour. Who knows, I might add some back later on.

I used the excellent Poole starter theme by @mdo (one of the guys behind Bootstrap) as a base for the design, and then refactored the styles to only keep what I need. I made use of the font Karla, which I love, and then spent quite a while making everything as visual as I could, with related posts and tag pages, so that old posts didn’t get lost.

As always, it’s still a work in progress (could do with some browser testing!), but I’m excited about having an easier way to share visual things in 2015.

Here's a list of Jekyll links that I found helpful when building this site: