accessorizing the cursor with jsJuly 16, 2021
Note: I no longer use this effect on the site. While I liked a lot about it, ultimately the lag of the shadow behind the real cursor made the site feel sluggish. With iPad OS 13, Apple finally announced mouse and touchpad support. But the way we use a mouse or trackpad is fundamentally different […]
loading images in a gridMay 30, 2021
High quality images can take a few seconds to load, even on fast internet connections, but users expect websites to be interactive in much under that. Browsers typically handle this by loading in the text and layout information first, while loading the images in the background. When an image is ready for display, it appears […]
Every few months I feel the urge to completely redo my personal website from the ground up. Each time it has gotten a little closer to how I want my site to function and how I want it to look. I’m pretty happy with its current state, however, and I suspect it’s going to last longer than the rest.
I’ve dabbled in a bit of everything for my site, plain HTML and CSS, templating engines, React, even Google Sites, but nothing was quite right. As it is, my current site is a WordPress site. Now, I know that yes, WordPress is quite old, and yes, PHP has a host of issues, but it’s pretty awesome for what I want to do with my website.
First of all, it’s based on blogging and frequent updates, which is something I’d like to build a habit for. If my website is annoying to update, I probably won’t do it that often.
Secondly, I have some experience with WordPress templates, from the Athletes for Equal Rights project. I knew that I could build a template from the ground up to be as bare-bones as possible, reducing the bloat that usually comes with a WordPress site.
Finally, the developer community is large and answers to questions are easy to find.
In terms of its faults, WordPress is likely overkill for my site, especially when it comes to the admin tools and post category system. Of course, it’s also all compiled on the backend during each server load, which can hurt speeds. I’m thinking about generating a static version of my site each time I update it and serving that instead, but I’m not at a point where that would improve speeds enough to justify it.
For the look and feel, I wanted to go as simple as possible, while still being visually interesting. The title section of the site is supposed to feel like the tail end of a URL, with the rest trailing off into the left of the page. In an essence, it’s like website breadcrumbs, but more decorative than functional. This theme of page titles acting as a part of a URL is also why they are all lowercase across the site.
I wanted simplicity in terms of color as well. Other than in images, the site is all grayscale. I wanted to create a focus on the content itself rather than the site it’s being presented in.
For the cards that appear on the site, I wanted to keep them as simple as possible, using a slight size and color animation to suggest their clickability.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with my website as it stands and changes will likely be small tweaks here and there that I notice with it over time.