I’ve had a hankering for a while to completely redo my personal website. There are a number of reasons for this.
For one, the old site was generated using my own static site generator sss. This was more of a project to learn Rust, rather to build a good static site generator. As such, it has not stood the test of time. Most notably, adding new features is truly awful and the HTML templates are part of the source code, rather than being separate and thus easily customisable. I’m not interested enough in web development to invest a lot of time in refactoring the generator. Basically, a serious case of code smell.
Hence, this time I’m using an “off-the-open-source” shelf solution Hugo which actually was quite a lot of work too. Not because Hugo is hard to use, but finding a template that I liked both aesthetically and functionally was tricky. I must have about ten different repos on my computer from trying themes, writing some content, before discarding it entirely.
A surprising issue was finding a theme I liked, but when I started writing content, it didn’t feel like “mine” - more like the theme author’s site. It is somewhat illogical (as the one I settled on is also not mine) but at least my original site was all mine, even if it was the dictionary definition of “graphic design is (not) my passion”. I settled on the PaperMod theme, used in my favourite blog Lil’Log.
Another reason to nuke the old site was that I had a number of old posts that didn’t meet my current standards - even having errors in them. This is an issue with the human condition more than anything: learning more exposes what we didn’t previously know. No doubt this will continue, but I should endeavour in the future to not delete too much.
For posterity’s sake, my old site looked like this:
A certain charm to it, but undeniably jank under the surface.
Redoing my personal website is the first piece of work I have done since completing all my university coursework and exams, marking the end of the most stressful period of my life, and marking the start of doing things I have been putting off. I’ll be starting my first job in September, so I’m hoping a clear delineation between time spent on work responsibilities and time for everything else will allow for, well, more “other things” (such as writing here) than I had when I was a student. I can only hope that, in a years time, the previous sentence is deathly accurate and not horribly naïve.