A New Blog Design

By John Mathews
Category: Web
December 2020

The blog has a new design! Out with the old, and in with well-written HTML, an improved CSS framework, maintainable code, dark mode, and articles with multiple categories.

This website was my first ever project using HTML and CSS, and the codebase for the original blog was terrible. It was poorly written and hard to maintain. I remember when I was first building it and trying to figure out what a <div> or a <span> really was.

At times I felt like little more than a monkey randomly bashing keys, hitting save and refreshing the browser tab. I felt guilty for spending any non-essential time away from my wife and daughter. I wondered if any benefits would actually materialize that would outweigh the costs of not rushing home to take care of a new-born and relieve a tired and stressed mum.

It took awhile, but eventually this blog became the most effective force multiplier I’ve ever used.

As I’ve learnt more about web development, the JAM stack has become increasingly intuitive and familiar. A side effect was that as I became comfortable with “good” dev work, working with this blog’s old code base became increasingly uncomfortable. I wanted to update the blog so that it would be easy and fun to use again. I want to be able to play with it quickly and efficiently.

I wasn’t aiming for a radical re-design, I like that the focus is on text and I’m not exploring any on-trend design choices. I think my original design choices have held up well. I want a design that will work for many years, with templates and code that is easy and intuitive to read, and design elements that are easier to work with.

I hope that I’ll be writing here more regularly over the next few months. It’s been a busy year and there is lots to write about!