Today, after several months of work, I’m relaunching this portfolio site, BrianReyman.com. I custom designed and built everything and it’s better than ever.
I was using SquareSpace.com, a great web site hosting service for several years. SquareSpace is solid and does most of the work for you. In many cases that’s great, but I wanted a site that was, in itself, part of my portfolio. It didn’t seem right to have web design, graphic design and writing skills while outsourcing two of those things elsewhere.
About a year ago I chose not to renew my SquareSpace subscription and started on my own site. I turned into the cobblemaker whose children have no sites (err… shoes…) and my site languished for longer than I wanted. I resolved this summer to change that and it’s going live today.
The site includes a number of areas that allow me to highlight past work and regularly share things moving forward.
- Showcase and portfolio: Highlights of some of the projects I’ve created over time that I’m 1) proud of and 2) are a good representation of the type of things I can do.
- Resume: About me and my experience, etc.
- Blog: A chance to share thoughts and continuously refine writing skills. Will include technology, training, updates on things I’m putting on the site or elsewhere. Anything else that’s on my mind at the time.
How it was made
As web technology and services have grown, the entire internet has benefited. I feel at times, however, that it’s too automated and dependent on complicated server-side setups and technology. I also wanted something that would run as fast/efficiently as possible for a site that won’t change (relatively) often.
As I considered how I might find the proper balance between robust tools and simple server management/deployment/speed, I ran across static site generators, specifically Jekyll. I was drawn in by the straightforward approach, powerful tools/templates and resulting HTML output that could be posted on any server.
The specific tools and workflows for this site include:
- Jekyll: The site’s core technology. Allows development in HTML, while supporting custom-built templates and other tools.
- SASS: CSS with proper tooling. Lots of methods to make creating CSS more reusable and faster.
- Bulma: Set of easy-to-use styles for rapid site interface creation.
- GitHub: Stores the code online.
- Netlify: Builds and hosts the final HTML based on the Jekyll code.
- Atom: My code editor of choice.
- Tower: Best tool around for managing Git repositories for versioning code.