New Blog

A brand new site

Hey hey hey! I built a brand new website – from SCRATCH! I used Node, Express, HTML, SCSS, EJS, and Hexo. I will write about my process and happenings both in my personal, professional, and academic life here, so make sure to stay up to date!

Why go through this?

My old site was slow! It was hosted by Wordpress, and it took almost 5 seconds to load the homepage. Unacceptable! I did not like the UI of WordPress, and I felt like I had the skills necessary to move away from the suffocating structure of WP. There were so many things I wanted to do but I couldn’t, and so many things that WP gave me that I didn’t need.

Now this baby is fast, lean, sleek, and styling. Upgrade complete!

Process

I’m really proud of the work I’ve done on this site. I’ve never built a website before at this scale. It took me about 3 weeks to build, with the first two weeks trying to fumble around with MEAN, MERN, and Electrode. I was really just trying to learn React, but I ultimately realized that I did not need it for my website. I’m not yet at the place where I can deconstruct a template, and as I was trying to navigate React and MongoDB–two technologies which I had never used prior– I decided to simplify my process.

Setting up Node and Express made it super easy to build the basic architecture of this website. One good thing about those MERN templates was picking up EJS and Sass. They made templating and formatting really easy for me for this website, and I’m happy I discovered them along the way.

Design-wise, I had an initial design that I had in mind and I drew it all out in Illustrator. But as I began to simplify my architecture, I realized that I had a lot more freedom to do whatever I wanted, so I decided to design it from scratch. I knew what I wanted, drew some quick sketches, found a good color scheme, and just went with it. First time web designing too!

There are many ways in which I can improve the code and design behind this website, but it runs fast, and it has everything I want, so I am happy with how it turned out!

New features

  • Building my blog with Hexo lets me write blogs in Markdown, It’s a great way to get practice in this useful language.
  • The format of this blog is modified from Probber Richt’s Dark Cactus theme.
  • Portfolio pages that better showcase my work!
  • A fast site so people don’t die while using my site -__-

Coming up

On my TODO list:

  • Add more interactivity to this site.
  • Update the javascript of the scrolling values
  • Mosaic-ize the picture on my /about page.
  • Add imagery to /work when you hover a project.
  • Learn how to host and add media files to this blog

But in the meantime, I’m ready to ship it!

As for my old WordPress site, I’m going to spend the next couple weeks moving over assets (and possibly certain blogs that I like) and moving them over to this one. I don’t expect that I’ll move a lot over though, but perhaps I will post a recap blog that will kind of showcase the things I liked from my last blog.