Looking for Something
I've never blogged before. In 2010, I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and deemed it the "idea spreading" platform of choice. Though mostly dormant for the last two years, my profile is home to thousands of little 140 character sentiments (largely of a bygone, high school age). The Twitter format is an interesting one, often sacrificing clarity for the sake of brevity.
Recently, I've been seeking a more versatile writing platform. There are a ton of options: Tumblr (it's sort of scary over their), Blogger, and a billion other blogging platforms provide tools for creating/distributing rich content. None of these were quite what I had in mind.
I really wanted to build something. Make it my own, personalize it. An idea emerged:
"Why don't I just make my own website?"
Yeah, that'd be cool. But HOW?
Where to Begin?
There were two different development options:
- Code up the whole site from scratch.
- Use an established website building platform, or template.
A lot of thought went into determining which avenue to pursue. Consideration was directed by the following goals:
- Host a professional portfolio and résumé, with an emphasis on design and minimalism.
- Host a blog with versatile options, and easy updatability.
- Ensure that the website looks good on both desktop and mobile platforms.
Based on these constructs, I felt that using an established website building platform was the best option. It expedites modifications, and puts the work of professional designers on your side.
Could I have developed the website from scratch? With enough time, I believe so. Accomplishing my goals (especially in regards to design) would have been much more laborious. I considered doing this just for the development experience; however, that experience will evolve through other projects that are less dependent on graphic design.
Choosing the Platform
There are oodles of website builders out there. Some prominent services are:
Each service has a laundry list of pros and cons that I won't get into now. Ultimately, I went with Squarespace for a variety of reasons.
- An awesome minimalist design philosophy.
- Deep visual customization options, and mobile responsive design.
- Easy domain management, automatic SEO, and great blogging tools.
- Squarespace Marquee Template - A starting point for prominent imagery and parallax scrolling.
- Autodesk Pixlr - Image margin manipulation and cropping.
- Picresize and Cloud Convert - File format manipulation and resizing.
- Muno Space - Video background implementation insight.
- Pexels and Pixabay - Free use stock photos.
- Iconfinder - Free icons and imagery.
- Coffee - Glorious caffeinated elixir.
Total implementation time ≈ 45-50 hours.
Squarespace is a cool platform, and I like how the site turned out.
I'll regularly update this blog with assorted thoughts and experiences going forward. Until next time!