Screenshot of the new design for the "posts" page.

It might have been awhile since you've been here, or maybe you've never been. However, this post is the arrival of a refresh of my site - some style changes, some schema & content changes, but a whole lot more changes under the hood. let's dive in a bit.

changes under the hood

The largest change on the site is that I'm now using Remix to power this site. The first commit for this new version dates back to May 27th, 2022. Prior to that, I've been using gatsbyjs for a few years, statically generating my content and pulling it from via GraphQL. So... why did I switch?

Well, the first was that anytime I updated content it required a full build process to preview or see live. That was just enough friction for me to decide to move away and evaluate either next.js or Remix. I wanted to use Remix for another, more complex project, so I figured why not test it out on the blog first? ...and here goes that test (I didn't know about incremental builds in Gatsby when I started this project a few months ago).

Second, I'd grown somewhat bored of the look of my site. Not quite finished with it right now, but I figure I should take heed from the adage "don't let perfect be the enemy of good" - really, this site is in a good enough spot for me to keep tweaking.

Last, I wanted to really dive deeper into GROQ as a query tool for structured data out of Sanity. I actually find GROQ to be much more pleasing and productive for querying data than GraphQL, though I do recognize the situational benefits of rolling with GraphQL (especially since we use it at work). Right tool for the job, as they say.

changes to the content

Well, this also gave me an opportunity to really re-think how my data was structured. There's all these other things I wanted to do, and they didn't quite fit the bill of a blog. This, too, became a bit daunting when I wanted to write some short updates to various projects, but they didn't really warrant a full blog post. I also didn't need a lot of the things that I would want to show up on my blog.

This led me to creating a few new schemas in sanity, which is super accessible (it's just a JS object with some fields!). While I'll probably continue tweaking and moving stuff around, I now have a nice and simple way to create a running list of things like projects (this section is still very much in progress, lol), fitness log & distance race updates (in a future update), tutorials (which now can have their own tags AND their own series), and a digital garden to function as a shareable scratch pad for ideas, snippets, random thoughts, stuff I come across - essentially, semi-structured thoughts (if I'm being honest, they're mainly for me lol).

I also added some things like the ability to create series, which will come in handy for things like "what's in my bag", as well as lightweight tags, since my categories were really ways for me to separate types of content, not categories of content (taxonomy-wise, I felt like I was using them wrong).

I also added some progressive image loading capabilities to smooth out the image loading experience, especially on index pages and my galleries (and I plan to shoot a lot more, so I'll have more hopefully to post).

changes in life

Well, past trends when it comes to my website has been that it is usually down unless I'm interviewing for a job (lol). Over the last 2.5 years, that changed, especially as I looked to live-streaming and creating more space for creating content in general. There's a lot ongoing right now, and I'll perhaps share in a separate post, but I do plan to sustainably resume most content-based activities in Q4 '22, after quite a few starts and stops due to personal matters.

All of that said, I wanted to refresh the site, and give myself room to keep tinkering and experimenting. Intentionally creating more space for content when there's something to share will help me keep tending the the site, and the garden, and continue to grow with it. This refresh has been built with a series of small commits, when I had inspiration and time, over the last few months, and proved to myself that I can sustainably do something in spurts and get it out the door (when it's not work).

going forward

Well, there's a lot more I want, and need, to fix, so I plan on doing that, and perhaps streaming the journey as I go. In the meantime, I'll be keenly focusing on giving myself space and grace as I look to resume a lot of the things I enjoy.

This is a pretty solid step in the right direction.

I'll likely work backwards and create a series of posts on the different choices I made in rebuilding the site, and would definitely love to hear feedback or different takes on what I could've done differently.

Back to Home