How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Build a Website

WHEW! This has been a long time coming.

I first pushed code to this repo in November of 2015, y'all. I got caught up in so much yak shaving (an entertaining term I learned just recently) and bikeshedding with myself, I set it aside.

Some may ask why I didn't use an all-in-one blogging platform or get a Medium account. The answer is three-fold.

First, I wanted to go through the process of creating a website from scratch. Specifically, I wanted to use a static site generator so I could put my site up on a CDN. This was an opportunity I hadn't had professionally so I wanted to make a personal project out of it.

Second, platforms like Medium can be great. I have nothing against them. But I wanted a platform that was completely customizable and wouldn't get lost in the shuffle. I have also seen the recommendation from quite a few people around the Twittersphere that website > Medium. Whether that's true or not has yet to be seen.

Third, I wanted to be able to write in Markdown. While this may seem trivial, Markdown is the format in which I am most comfortable (and therefore most efficient). I plain love writing in it. Additionally, because I am going to be writing articles with code in them, I wanted a writing experience that allowed simple code embedding. I haven't seen any system as easy as Markdown for doing so. Who doesn't love the triple backtick?

Regardless of the absolute importance of the three items above, they were of great relative importance to me and would be required in whatever solution I chose.

Three months ago, it hit me. It was time. No more spinning my wheels. Time to get to "done." I created a fresh branch, deleted all the old code, and started from scratch. Fast forward to now and I'm fairly happy with the end result. It's still a work in progress, but it's up. It's live. And I can work on it knowing that I at least got it to v1 (which is a good feeling 💯👍).

I plan on writing a series walking through the different technology and design decisions I made regarding the website (what I chose and why I chose it). If that type of content interests you, stay tuned (and/or subscribe to my feed). I will also be adding more features and tweaks to the site itself (offline access anyone?!?).

In the meantime, this site is public and up on GitHub. Feel free to review the code and file an issue if something can be improved!

Thanks and happy reading,

© 2017 Ray Gesualdo. All rights reserved.
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