A Website To Call My Own

December 02, 2013 · 3 min read

Most of this site was built at my favorite coffee shop of late, Sump.
Most of this site was built at my favorite coffee shop of late, Sump.

I make a living designing and developing, among many many other things, websites. So, for the past few years, I’ve had the embarrassing task of explaining something to all my clients and — worse, if you can believe it — my friends: I didn’t have a website of my own. The cobbler’s children had no shoes; the barber’s hair was long and shaggy. Such shame.

Tired of making excuses, I finally did something about it! I grabbed hold of my bootstraps, and pulled like hell. Here I am. Internet, hear me roar.

By way of introduction, here’s what makes this website tick:

Kirby

The text you’re seeing now is stored on my server in plain-old text files, and served up by a content management system called Kirby. I could rave on and on about Kirby, but I’ll keep this short: it’s written in PHP, and is just my cup of tea. I recommend it on the regular.

Markdown

Markdown allows writers to infuse bits of design — stuff like headers, links, images, lists — into their workflow, without needing toolbars and fancy word processors and never-quite-perfectly-functional online WYSIWYG editors. It makes writing for the web a breeze. Kirby automatically turns Markdown into HTML, so it’s the perfect combo of control and efficiency.

LESS

There’s volumes and volumes of arguments about css preprocessors LESS and SASS. When I started working on this site, I used LESS exclusively; now I use both pretty evenly. CSS preprocessors are absolutely indispensable, so if you’re not familiar, I suggest you jump on board.

Photoshop

I designed this sucker right in the browser. It probably shows: very few superfluous design elements, very content-centric. While skipping the static design phase tends to push my designs towards a minimal/typographic homogeny, the workflow minimizes project-crushing scrutiny. Topics for another day, for certain.

Maison Neue

Lastly, I feel the need to express my love for the typeface this site is set in. It’s called Maison Neue, and it’s from a foundry called Milieu Grotesque. I absolutely love the trend web type is following at the moment — that is, ‘hybrid’ sans-serifs a la Aperçu — but needed to find a face that wasn’t quite as over-used as the aforementioned. Maison Neue is a superfamily, and contains another recent favorite of mine: monospaced variants.


In conclusion, I’ve striven to keep the number of tools involved to a minimum, the amount of design to it’s essential least, and the amount of content to what could be easily digested in less than 5 minutes. I’ll be improving it constantly, and doing lots behind the scenes. For now, however, I’m proud to say, after years of building them for other people, I finally have a website to call my own.