Matt Hamlin

My New Website

Over the past 2 or three weeks I have been both busy at work and also busy outside of work. Most of my work that I have been doing outside of work has been devoted to this website. I originally made this website in (apparently) October of 2015, and since then I have redesigned the site only about 5 or 6 times, each time fully re-hauling the entire infrastructure and design language. These past two or three weeks have been spent building out an infrastructure that will hopefully be a bit easier to manage. I still will do a ton of things manually, however I generally prefer to touch the code myself more often than not 😄.

I wanted to write out everything that I have done, and also talk a bit about the code that I am using to build this site. Don’t worry if you don’t know that much about web development you can still read along most of this post will be really low level stuff.

I wanted to start this off with a brief timeline of all the visual changes I have made to my site. Unfortunately the css for the site snapshots on the Wayback machine doesn’t seem to load (either that or it didn’t collect the css). In fact I can only find one version of the site that has working css at all and unfortunately this version also rendered part of the site via JS so that doesn’t show up either1. The version that I can find is here. I had just found out about skeleton-css and wanted to put it to use in my own website. I loved this version of my site, it was clean and also a bit colorful.

The current version of the site, shown below in case it changes in the future, is broken down into basically 4 page types as it is now. The first is the home page the second is my resume, the third is my blog archive, and the fourth is the layout of a blog post.

Landing Page
Landing Page
Resume Page
Resume Page
Archive Page
Archive Page
Blog post page
Blog post Page

The Design:

I originally came up with the current basic design in June of this year, having a very simple and minimal landing page really excited me. I wanted to make it very easy for visitors to know just how much I like to keep things minimal.

Any good design article wouldn't be good without showing off the various design assets used across the site, so below is a quick demonstration of the various assets I used when designing and developing this version of the website.

Code:

I was going to try and add an interactive file structure map here on this article but figured it would be easier to discuss it. My entire site is built off of HTML and CSS. I don't use any JS simply because I don't need any javascript for functionality. All my HTML is hand written and I use emmet to help in writing it efficiently. All my css is compiled from SCSS files. I do the compiling myself on my machine before pushing to Github because Github doesn't handle compiling when pushing new commits.

For compiling my SCSS I use Grunt, and I know its now considered an out of date build system but I like it and I find it works pretty well for what I need it to do.

For the most part that is the site. Everything is wired up is done by hand, I do this because I really enjoy touching code. So whenever I make a new post I copy my template html, edit in the title's and other data and then add a link back to it from the archive page when I am ready to publish it.

Footnotes:


  1. To combat this in the future I plan on making a snapshot branch on Github and forking those out into their separate repos (maybe).