My 2021 personal site rebuild is live!
I learnt to code in 2018 and began building my first personal/portfolio site while I was doing a short HTML & CSS course with General Assembly. I continued tweaking it until I graduated from my full-time web development immersive course in June 2018 and used it for job hunting.
Since then, I have launched a new version of my site every year. I like to try out technologies that interest me and rather than struggling to come up with some new idea each time, it's easier just to rebuild what I know!
I have just launched my 2021 version of my site - you're looking at it right now!
While I was working on it, I decided to check back and my past versions to see what technologies I was learning at the time. Here's a quick look back:
2021: 11ty and Netlify CMS
Github Repo / Live version is what you're looking at right now!
I had heard good things about 11ty and Netlify CMS on Twitter and had been curious for a long time. It wasn't until I got to poke around the new Men Championing Change website that I really wanted to give it a go! I first experimented with a quick landing page using a starter template and immediately loved it. So I proceeded to start from scratch to build this site! So much fun and it didn't take very long to build!
I've been doing so little UI coding at work that it was such a joy to be writing basic code and vanilla CSS and not have to deal with anything complex. 11ty reminded me how much I enjoy coding!
I know most developers love markdown and hate WYSIWG editors (I hear it all the time at work) but I really hate writing markdown in a code editor so Netlify CMS makes me happy! It's very basic, but it does what I need it to.
I made this version of my site when I was learning NextJS for my work at Finder. I still love NextJS and may return to it in future! This version of my site was one that I was most happy with. I still love the minimalist design. It was so easy to update, even if I had to write the blog posts in markdown in a text editor.
2019: Gatsby JS with headless WordPress
Github Repo / Live version no longer exists
Everyone was talking about Gatsby on Twitter when I did this rebuild. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! I liked Gatsby. It was quite easy to get going and the performance and SEO was pretty decent. Only thing was I didn't have time to learn GraphQL which made things extremely difficult. I used a headless WordPress because again, this was something that was being discussed at work and I wanted to give it a try and see how it worked!
2018: Straight up WordPress
This might still exist somewhere in the depths of my computer backup but I cannot be bothered finding it! I can't even remember what this one looked like to be honest. Before I learnt to code one of my goals was to be able to create my own WordPress theme from scratch. This version of my site was mostly about proving to myself that I could do it! It wasn't the most enjoyable to build, but it was satisfying to know that I could after so many years of buying WordPress templates.
Earlier 2018: HTML, CSS & Vanilla JS
My first baby site that I coded all on my own while studying. 😍 It will always have a special place in my heart, and I still love how much personality I was able to put into it! It helped me get my first job in tech and I'll always be grateful for that.
And that's a wrap! I wonder what the 2022 version of my site will bring!