I've wanted to refresh this website for quite some time.
The last time I rebuilt and redesigned it was in 2013. The look and feel had gone a bit stale, and my lack of keeping up with updates to the static site generator I was using made it near impossible for me to post to the site without hours of tinkering.
Lots of post ideas came and went. I could have posted to medium or linkedin or "tweetstorms" or whatever, but I've always liked both the medium of posts on a website and owning my own identity and place on the web, so the inertia for posting that type of content elsewhere was high.
I also resolved not to use a site platform that wouldn't allow me to post away from my home desktop computer - but I love the simplicity, cost to host, and speed of sites built by static site builders.
After a few false starts and a bunch of research, I found Netlify CMS which when combined with the right hosting and automation1 allows for most of the benefits of a hosted CMS like Wordpress with all the advantages of static site builders.
For someone like me who can never just take the easy path, it was a great match.
After deciding on Netlify CMS, I chose the quick start based on GatsbyJS as I had heard good things about the framework. It also allowed me to tinker with something based on React which I've wanted to do since 2015, without going down a complete rabbit hole.
A react based frontend for a website like this is almost certainly extreme overkill. I should probably keep it simple. But, I do have some aspirations to make parts of the site dynamic based on visitor interest, so having a framework that supports that in place is a bonus.
As of this writing I've put in more than 40 time tracked side time hours into getting everything migrated in and setting it up to the point that I'm comfortable telling the small corner of the world that might listen to me about it.
Keep an eye on my site plan for more on what I want to do with the site and see how well I follow through this time.
Thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions about the site or my process or something else, don't hesitate to reach out.