13 November, 2020 - 3 min read
Early in the Pandemic Times, I spent countless hours designing this site. I agonized over margins and fonts and spent way too much time deciding on light/dark mode color schemes. Ultimately, I came up with a design that I liked.
By November, I hated it.
I can't exactly explain why this happened, but it was probably that the layout felt visually cluttered and I'm currently inclined toward simplicity. We've been sprucing up our apartment lately, so I guess that made me want to do some cleanup in my digital life, too.
Anyway. I redid this site using the gatsby-starter-julia theme and added a few customizations along the way to get it looking and working more or less how I'd like. (See this post about my efforts to define "good enough" and not be held up by perfectionism!)
Why not make a new design from scratch?
I decided not to go down the rabbit hole of designing a theme for myself this time. Why? Well . . .
- I like this layout! A lot! It's clean and simple and more or less what I had envisioned when I set out to redo this site.
- I'd rather work on other projects in my spare time, to be quite honest.
That second point is particularly important. There are some not-insignificant side projects I've been pondering for a while, but I wanted to wait till I fixed this site to start on them.
This theme is great, but there were several things that felt important enough to add or tweak before I deployed:
- Making the footer sticky and adding social links
- Colors for links, highlights, etc. (as usual, I spent way too much time on this)
- Restructured where blog posts live in the file system to better incorporate images
- Added a description field to the frontmatter for each post
- Added plugins to enable images in markdown (these came as defaults with other themes I've used; for some reason, they weren't installed on this theme)
- Added "About" and "Projects" pages
I'm not letting perfectionism get in the way of using this new layout, which definitely means there are some things I'd like to fix in the future. Here are some of them:
- Not hardcoding a path in the frontmatter of individual posts' markdown files, but generating one using the slug instead
- Adding previous / next post links to each blog post
- Adding back a tag system for blog posts
- Adding back the option to toggle between light / dark mode
And then, of course, there's the matter of updating this blog more frequently and getting to work on those other side projects I have in mind. More to come where those are concerned!