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Website Redesign - chrissmith.xyz

by Chris Smith

Over the last couple of months of 2015 and the start of 2016 I decided to redesign this site. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it before from a user's point of view but from an author's point of view I felt I could do better.

The site was built using Jekyll, which is a static site generator. You make changes on your local machine and everything gets rebuilt as static files. This is great for performance as static pages are much faster. The downside for me was that it meant only being able to publish blog posts or pages from that one machine. #firstworldproblems :)

My biggest issue with having my own site is giving it the love it deserves. Making time to write content is definitely the number one blocker for me. If I could make it as easy as possible to write content from multiple devices that would go a long way to making it work for me. I decided to go back to good old WordPress.

I now publish from my laptop as before but, as it's all web based, I can just log on anywhere and write a draft. The Amazon Fire tablet (forked Android) has a WordPress app which allows me to write locally and sync at my convenience. I don't think I'd really choose to write blog posts from my phone but if I ever needed to make a change, e.g. spotted an embarrassing typo, I could.

As a developer using something built on PHP and MySql is nowhere near as cool as Ruby and no database but who actually cares. Loads of great sites I use day-to-day are built on WordPress, like CSS Tricks. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

Adding or customising themes is very simple. I'm using the default Twenty Fifteen theme but have added my own little child theme to customise it beyond just colours and image background choices. I'm using a Google Font called Anton for headings plus I've changed some of the spacing and played with the perspective of the sidebar.

The vibrant pink hasn't changed.