Redesigning my website

My initial thoughts

Over the past week, I migrated my website from VuePress to Gridsome. This migration has now given me more freedom of design and development.

Inspired by Jack McDade’s awesome website and I wanted to create something that was more personable to me.

Also, I like funky designs, but I’m always less motivated to design websites for myself. I never know what I want and I’m not sure if what I’m doing is overboard to a point where my viewers will dislike it.

Determined to move past my anxieties

This is in part due to my anxieties and lack of self-confidence, but speaking to other’s about their experiences and gaining inspiration has given me the confidence to push past my own anxieties. I went ahead and created my design using Figma. Once I was happy with my creation, I decided to share it with a Slack group. Those that gave me feedback were very positive which gave me more confidence to share it to a larger audience.

I took a deep breath and posted it on Twitter who generally have more negative thoughts, but the responses were still very positive. It was time to transform my graphic into my actual website.

Designing my website

After about a day, I had most of the design complete and I was super impressed with my work. This is something I’ve never felt confident about. I love developing websites, but designing a website was something I constantly struggled with.

As you can see from the image above (and from looking at my website), I used black as my background colour with yellow as the main colour. The dark blue adds some sort of separation between blocks and my social icons follow the lines like they’re walking along a field at night.

My blog content is still the same white background with black text since it’s easier to read. My “Latest Post” has been moved further to the right and has an angle which follows the angle of the yellow square. This gives my website a little more character and breaks it up quite nicely.

The search is also using a yellow border to help make it stand out, and the results also do the same thing. Hopefully, my results can be read clearly, but if you struggle and have suggestions, then I’m open to feedback.

Closing thoughts

Please explore my newly created website and send me plenty of feedback if you have any. I’m always open to suggestions and would love to hear what works and what doesn’t. You can add your own comments to this post here, or you can @ me on Twitter.

Website migrated from VuePress to Gridsome posting from Forestry

Yesterday, I published my new website which has been created with Gridsome. I had to reformat my blog posts and add tags to each of them. I have 156 posts, so this was not an easy task, to say the least.

Now I’m writing my first blog post using Forestry, and with any luck, it will post to my repository and deploy to my site with no issues. That’s if I’ve set up the formatting correctly and everything else that comes with it.

I now have a newsletter which you can subscribe to using the form at the bottom of this post. Signing up is easy and it will make sure you never miss an update. However, if you’re more of an RSS person, then I have that too.

There are a few more things I would like to add to my website such as comments that aren’t by Disqus, social card metadata and an auto-generated sitemap. I should probably create a roadmap on my GH repository for you to keep an eye on.

That’s pretty much it for this one, and if you like the new update please let me know on my Twitter page.

Join the discussion here.

Last major website refresh

Yet another site move…

I have updated my website again and moved it from OctoberCMS to WordPress. The process was fairly easy and I am glad to have finally made the move. WordPress is a great blogging platform and although it gets a lot of bad rep, it is a great platform to be on. WordPress is hosted on over 80% of the internet and it’s completely open source which means you simply can not go wrong with using it.

I am still hosted by Digital Ocean as it’s simple and cheap. Digital Ocean has also upgraded their “droplets” and doubled them. You can now get double the resources for half the price if you wished. Or you could stay on the same bill and get double the resources, it’s up to you.

A vast array of plugins…

WordPress contains so many plugins. It’s a curse and a blessing at the same time. You can easily grab some of the best plugins such as YOAST, Jetpack etc… At the same time, you can find bad plugins that are no longer maintained, or have can open your website to being hacked. You need to be vigilant and always stay on guard. That’s not to so other CMS systems aren’t vulnerable, of course, they are. Except, with the popularity of WordPress, there can be many not so experienced devs creating plugins.

Of course, I have gone off on a tangent… Right now, I am loving what WordPress offers me and I wish I wasn’t so reluctant to use it. I was young and naive and always wanted the latest and greatest. The problem is, the latest and greatest never has the community and support of something that has grown and lived for a long time.

Moving to podcasting

I have wanted to this for so long but never found a good enough platform. A lot of platforms out there really restrict you unless you pay. It’s a shame because I just want something like YouTube but in podcast form. The best platform for me right now is SoundCloud which is a fantastic platform, but it just means I can’t get my podcasts over to Spotify or iTunes. If the podcast ever grows to more than just a hobby aspect, then I will most certainly move over to something like PodBean.

Enjoyed this post?

You can now subscribe through WordPress, or you can use your favourite RSS reader. We even have an email subscription form if you would like to subscribe that way. I love to hear from you guys, so please feel free to leave a comment and I will hopefully be posting out more frequently with better quality content.

New Blog Design

It’s been a while since I’ve post and for that, I do appologise. My head has been loaded with ideas and new projects that I absolutely would love to get started on. But I tend to try and start 100 all at once and then get too agitated because none of them are working for me. Or just get pushed away.

My first idea was to create a better, not so bland website. This idea has been around ever since I created my Blog. However, I never got round to it because I wanted to make larger projects. It’s now finally come to the forefront of my mind and so what you are now looking at is a better design. I will be trying to push out small changes here and there to keep it as fresh as possible, so if I don’t create a new Blog post, there could be another change elsewhere (so keep your eyes peeled).

Future projects

I have also had the idea of creating apps for Windows Phone 8.1, I tried with Javascript and came across many problems, so now I’m attempting to learn C#. Hopefully I can create some little apps and let you know once they have been released. My first proper app should be a nice portal to this website. With toast notifications letting you know when I have a new post up. Anything else before this point will be small apps to get me started on the journey.

Another thing I have decided to take a look at is Phalcon. It’s a nice framework which offers speed for larger apps/sites. I wanted to take a look because it could come in useful some time in the future. To put it to it’s use, I want to create a Helpdesk app which integrates with Mailgun.

I’ll post updates, tutorials and other musings in the near future.

Website Update

As you can see, it has been a while since my last post. However, I have been busy trying to push updates over to my website. This is to help strengthen the relationships between you and I.

You can now share any articles you like by scrolling to the bottom of each, and clicking on the “Share This” button. Each social website which you can share with will pop up. However, I do need to improve on this. It will automate text titles, images (when I start adding them) and using selected paragraphs.

I would like to encourage all of my readers to share any posts which you find useful so that it can help other as well. I have also added a Recommended Reading page which you can use to find new and interesting books which have caught my eye. In the future, as I being to read each of those books (which I will), I will post reviews on what I believe has and hasn’t helped me and hopefully help you decide on what books will be helpful for you.

If there is anything you would like me to investigate further and create posts on certain situations with a resolution, then please write a comment below detailing what you need help with and I will do my best to investigate and create solutions to these problems.

Brand New Website, Brand New Start

Here I go again, on my quest for a new website…

Of becoming a Web Master. It’s been a while since I properly posted on my Blog. And so I wondered the best way to go about this. As I went back to my old site and old Blog. I looked at it and I couldn’t help but think that the way of making templates on Blogger was a bit too tedious and slap-dashed and was in need of a new website.

Now I’m using Laravel at work and starting to feel like it is such a great tool to use. I felt like I should start my new site using a platform which embraces Laravel and so here I am, using WardrobeCMS.

From what I have seen so far, it bolts on some pretty nifty packages and creates something that is simple and elegant. Rather than HTML, it uses a markdown language which looks amazing and it’s so simple to use.

In the future, I hope to create my own theme for it and maybe even make some packages to enhance what is already becoming a lovely piece of kit. I also plan on doing a lot of tutorials focusing mainly on Laravel itself. And possibly some packages which I find useful through my journey.