A blog where I talk about the stuff I make, do and more

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

[TLDR] Building a new website

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I recently mustered all of my courage and started working on a new version of my website. And since I also got a brand new blog and I'm trying to develop a habit where I actually post something once in a while, I thought it might be a good idea to write down some of my thoughts and observations.

Let's begin with my motivations for starting the project in the first place.

When I recently realized (most of) my recent projects all have their own landing page but there wasn't really one place that linked to them all, I came to the realization that, if anything, "my website" (portal, portfolio, personal site - lot's of "p's") was the place to address that issue.

The thing is that I've postponed revamping my website for a long time for a reason: I hated that, before I changed my website to a single splash screen with a minimal amount of links, my website was constantly out-of-date and that adding new projects took me a lot of time (effort, actually). I was constantly struggling with questions like "Should I translate this to English? It's a dutch project.. but my site is in English.." - stuff like that. So my website went from going from this (archived version I keep online just to look up some old projects once every while) to a VERY barebones landing page with just a bunch of links. My reasoning was: I'll maintain the individual projects using an individual environment and approach.

In the end, it was a nice idea but one splash screen as a homepage with just a few links to projects wasn't enough. I needed a bit more. Luckily, I do enjoy solving problems and building stuff. The time had come to do just that.

I always found the website I designed for Stichting z25.org's Makers Workshops pretty nice because it divided content in clearly separated 'categories' in the form of a series of screens. And, besides being a bit heavy on the memory, the design was pretty adaptive to mobile. That, combined with the stuff I learned from my recent Pocketr revamp project, made me pretty confident that I could solve my website's issue of not properly giving an overview of what I've recently been up to.

What my solution is? Well, for the work-in-progress you can take a look here. I update it regularly with new features and bugfixes so it is still very much in flux.

As for this post, I'll continue the story at a later time and date. I need some sleep now :)

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