The Creation of a Web Site

The Creation of a Web Site

For those who wish to read all about how I made a thing.
by Trevor, 07/22/2018 7:01 PM EDT

After over a decade of starts and stops, punctuated with realizations that I have not kept up with modern web development techniques very well at all, I have finally set about creating a personal web site with a dedication strong enough to have something to show for my efforts. Behold the trappings around these words.

Back when I last made a web site for myself, my standard method was to design the page in Macromedia Fireworks then cut the menu items and other parts into separate image files and arrange everything with tables. Clearly such techniques are frowned upon these days (and what better way to sound old than to use the phrase "frowned upon these days"). But I've found that I just don't keep at things if I have no hook into what's going on at all, so I began designing this site in Fireworks as well.

I have always been a fan of minimalist design, and it turns out that rectangles are some of the easiest things to create with CSS. Once I got the design converted to some basic HTML and CSS, the next adventure was, of course, getting web fonts set up. One can't proceed to the programming phase if the site doesn't look nice, after all. It would be too distracting. After some experimentation, I settled on Delm and Core Sans M. The fact that they were on sale might also have been a factor.

The next step was to figure out how to not deal with duplicate text. That is, I wanted the menu to show up on every page, but don't want to deal with having to update every single page on the site if I change my mind about a category or change a filename. I've had success with simply using PHP includes in the past to take care of this problem. However, I soon realized that if I was serious about properly organizing things, I would have a lot of PHP coding to do. It would probably have been fun, but it was daunting enough that I spent some time researching available CMS platforms. Boy howdy are there a lot of them out there. Wordpress would be overkill, as would most any CMS that includes user account setup. I lucked into finding PicoCMS, which is what I've used here.

The theming was pretty straightforward, and the performance seems to be quite good so far. Of course, I haven't really taxed it much yet. I may not ever. This may end up being the only post on this site. But I do still have plans, and some more things I'd like to add to this site:

I guess my next post will be about this web site too. How very meta. But it is what I've been working on lately, so it is at least temporally relevant. See you next time!