Derek P. Collins
Product Designer & Developer

The New New

In which I redesign my blog again.

Well, I did it again – I redesigned my blog before I really made any use of it. To be fair, this redesign coincided with the decision to switch to using Astro from Hugo, so it wasn’t just about adding a fresh coat of paint.

Switching to Astro

Astro is a free, open-source, modern, static site generator. There were a lot of reasons that I wanted to switch after checking it out:

  • The overall file structure is very simple compared to Hugo, which makes working with and maintaining the site much nicer in my opinion
  • There’s no need for funky Shortcodes – you can just include HTML directly in your Markdown files – which I found cumbersome when using Hugo
  • There’s no need for Hugo Pipes to enable things like cache-busting by figerprinting CSS files, for example – this is just built into Astro
  • There’s a great – and very active – developer community on Discord where it’s easy to find help when needed

And much, much more! So far I’m really happy with the decision to switch, but we’ll see how that pans out over the long-term.

Design Inspiration

As Dan Mall points out in Stealing Your Way to Original Designs, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” and that’s certainly the case for this redesign. The following sites served as design inspiration for this site:

  • Simplebits
    I really like the way Dan structured his blog pages. My blog pages are modeled after this.
  • Fons Mans
    The full-screen, bold design served as inspiration for the large “dpc” intro.
  • Dan Mall
    The bold site design also served as inspiration for the “dpc” intro and I may end up treating my link underlines the same way that Dan does.
  • Matthaeus Krenn
    I love the minimalist simplicity of this site and I’m making use of the same font – Barlow.

Work in Progress

As is always the case, this website will be a continual work in progress – there’s still much to be done behind the scenes. And while I really like the way the site looks on a desktop/laptop browser, I’m not thrilled with how it looks on mobile, so I may need to tweak that a bit.

I’m going to challenge myself to actually write and publish something this year – let’s see how it goes!