Today I’m launching the redesigned website palaniraja.com. It’s a shame that I took to this much time to update my own website which I’ve paying for years. But that’s a by-product of working on your own project without timeline or external pressure :-)
Even today, I had to take a decision to push this version as it is fully functional for almost a week, and my list of pending items is still growing. I hope to publish changes in subsequent days/weeks.
Idea and Execution
- Wanted a simple markdown based website
- Wanted to host on github https://palaniraja.github.com/
- Content Types
- Simplistic theme and fast rendering website
Almost 2 year old todo list from my org file.
- Rebuilt this using Hugo
An opensource static site generator written in Go. I chose this years ago when I was interested in learning Go. Though I haven’t invested much time in Go. I figured the customization I expect for my site can be done with just templating. And it has good community support and articles for customization
- Theme -
I built my own theme named
min for minimalistic. It is based on a theme whiteplain which is similar to my liking, but I had to build several components on top of it. Will shortly publish the source code.
For CSS, I used milligram.css - a small 2kb gzipped library to help with defaults and typography. Though I do not use any of their grids or forms styles. I still use the complete css, for easier upgrade later.
- No Tracking codes.
- Not to embed any 3rd party widgets.
- This is very hard. E.g., I host code snippets on Github and videos on Youtube. But decided privacy of users and speed of page is more important than an additional click
- Good old hyperlink will take them to 3rd party sites when necessary
- And I keep a copy of code snippets part of post so it would work with RSS feed readers
- Built couple of Hugo shortcodes for embeding contents which then links to 3rd party website.
- Importing old blog contents
Since I’ve been blogging over a decade and I have contents in several platforms. I wanted to merge it in a single place as well as a simple non-proprietary backup.
Since this is a static website, it can’t have comments. Though the whole world decided against comments. I still love an insightful comment or an appreciation on a post from strangers. I like to think of post without comments as Stackoverflow posts without answers.
I do not want to use the de facto standard for Static sites - Disqus. It is an additional 3rd party dependency with embeds. So I decided to go with Google Forms. Yes it is also a dependency but already Google has all my info. And I prefer Google over Disqus. I decided to link instead of embeds because I don’t want to inject codes which I don’t have control over.
This will be the product page for all my projects and scripts. Top featured projects are listed in Home itself.
To host all my old blog posts and comments. Migrated using my own blog2md and edited few posts for dead links and contents.
A footer link at the moment. Will think of a place to feature this in top navbar. And I should keep logging more contents from my notebook.
- Resume - A major component pending item from this release
This is definetly a reason why this project was delayed. I wanted to do a cool resume page part of website deployed since the domain purchase. But I could not make up my mind to choose one. My current plan to create a single page PDF with just high level technical information and link it.
Ask the recruiters and spammers to mail for more info which includes private information.