Matt Hamlin's Blog

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Redesign

January 01, 2016

I recently redesigned my entire website for two reasons. The first was that I wanted to try and use a CSS library I have started work on, and the second was because I felt like my current site was a bit chaotic.

I have written several posts about redesigning certain websites whether they are mine or some other sites, and for most of those writeups I went into the specific design principles or explained the different reasons as to why I used specific things. This writeup will not be like those as I am currently fairly short on time. instead I wanted to talk about a few things that I am using and a few things that I am cutting entirely from the website.

The first thing that I cut, and not initially by need or want, was any sort of external javascript file. I used to be loading in jQuery and a few external files because I was using things like mustachejs for templates and loading in a ton of data. Now I simply use javascript for Google analytics and thats all. I haven't done the due diligence of checking load times of my website before the redesign and after the redesign, however I am fairly certain that by removing a ton of the waste the site should be loading faster for a lot of people.

The last thing I want to add is to talk a bit about what I used for my css. The entire layout is done using flexbox which made the design part incredibly easy. This of course means that the website will look completely terrible when viewed from browsers that don't support these css standards, but I am alright with that. I was considering using the Grid Layout CSS features but decided to not use it because only a small number of browsers actually support Grid Layout and I figured it would be easier for me to simply use flexbox.

As I said in the beginning I am using a lot of my own CSS / HTML assets. In fact I am only really using Ion Icons and Normalize.css as my external 3rd party resources. I am sure I could have optimized my site more but as it stands now I am fairly happy with how it works and feels.

As a sidenote, about a month ago I moved all my sites over to Cloudflare in order to setup HTTPS on all my domains. This has been really easy to do and I am happy with how simple it was to actually setup.