Does this site count towards my personal portfolio? I certainly feel like it should…
Prior to launching this site I had a portfolio which was built with GatsbyJS, which is basically a static site generator that uses react under the hood. The site worked well, but it had a lot of dependencies under the hood, and the codebase overall was complex.
Some other gripes:
- Long build times
- Theme I used didn’t support blogs
- Wanted to redesign to a simpler aesthetic
Sure I could have made it work, but this is a side project and I have limited time so I looked for other options. Speed was the name of the game here.
In comes Hugo #
I discovered Hugo as a static site generator and was very impressed with the build times and how fast you could spin up a site. In a nutshell, it takes markdown files and turns them into static sites based on HTML templates which you can modify on your own.
Hugo also has a great library of open source themes that you can use to build whatever kind of site you want. They’ve got everything from documentation to personal portfolio sites. Eventually I stumbled on the Blowfish theme which was absolutely packed with features to make it easy to start up, plus it was built with tailwind which I wanted to use anyway.
The Result #
After a few weekends of working on this here and there, I had a new portfolio site that made it easy for me to show off projects that I made along with some commentary on each project.
Here’s a short list of improvements:
- Easy styling with Tailwind
- Anonymous likes and page views with Firebase
- 30 second site build times
- Markdown based blog posts which are very simple to add
Fun fact, this site is hosted with Netlify which has a very generous free tier. All I pay for is the domain name “joshuaflores.rocks”. Total cost per year for this site is around $10.