I built my new website from scratch using Jekyll, a static site generator. Welcome to my new virtual house. Let me show you around.
About a month after announcing it, I'm excited to welcome you to my new virtual house. Can I offer you a drink?
Simone and I built my new website from scratch using Jekyll — a static site generator — and several other tools. I now have complete control over the code. It felt natural to refresh logo and styling as well, like it often happens during a home restoration. I made some important changes, too. Let me show you around.
Lock, stock, and barrel
Ever since the early 2000s, I’ve been maintaining blogs. I used to design and develop them, until it felt like a massive task. Thus, I started to use WordPress. When social media came, I scattered my thoughts and pictures over various third party platforms. Later, I created a photography site, followed by my work portfolio. I tried to combine the two, without much convinction.
Every time I separated my passions, I ended up not writing, or not taking photos because of some perceived pressure to deliver a specific kind of content. Enter this website, where there’s everything I like. Here, you’ll find:
- the design inspiration series Design, Digested;
- photography posts, including some earlier ones that I never published on the previous website;
- my work.
Moving the content from WordPress to Jekyll — and within a new layout — meant every post, photo, case study, underwent a overhaul. Helped by Simone’s expertise as an editor, I kept what still made sense, rewrote what didn’t look good, and found a more relaxed way to emphasise text. Featured images are missing from most of my posts: there is one when it has meaning, not for the sake of SEO.
My database on WordPress ballooned, so I seized the opportunity to delete useless tags and categories, reorganising the information architecture of the blog. If you like numbers, I used to have
303 tags! Most of which were, of course, barely used. You can find the renewed taxonomy in the footer menu, under Archive.
Speaking of ballooning, a special mention about the weight of the website: the previous version, on WordPress, was
1.08 GB. Compare that to the current
53.6 MB: it’s a whopping 20x decrease.
In his book Webwaste, Gerry McGovern explains how the web changed since 1994. The number of websites, the weight of pages, third-party content and scripts hanging off them, along with their processing demands, all contribute to increasing our digital waste. Which, in turn, creates pollution. It’s an issue I care about, which finally made me decide to do my part. I first mentioned the book in Design, Digested 7.
No cookies here
Would you like a pasticcino (pastitˈtʃino) instead?
This website does not collect any personal data about visitors. I painstakingly removed any kind of tracking from the links I share with you, and every YouTube video embed is served from
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com. After much thinking, I decided not to implement a comment system, and chose to give you the ability to reply directly to me at the end of each post. Your messages will land in my inbox, where we can have a private conversation. More details on the Colophon page.
Deploying the site is a first step, but there is still work to do, and the most exciting part has yet to come. This website will become the centre of my digital life and identity. What I’ll post here will propagate on my accounts of choice — and any reaction from there will ping a feedback here. Here’s a quick list of what’s next:
Stop by again soon, I will tell you more.
Update on March 2022
Webmentions and POSSE are now active, and I joined Indieweb.
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