I Published this Website

I Published this Website

The dawn of an era. I finally published my personal website, and you’re reading it!

It’s Live!

I wrote just a few days ago about my theme for 2024. I want to publish more. I want to finish what I start. I wanted to share my work with the world. I want to publish my ideas, my thoughts, my projects, my hobbies, and my art.

One way that I wanted to publish these pieces was through my personal website. Therefore, it required me to have one.

Therein was my first goal of 2024. I needed to publish a personal website.

I’m happy to report that after just a few weekends of work, I finally did it. I actually finished what I started and I published it to the world. My website is live and you are reading it right now.

Why It’s Different This time

I’ve built a lot of personal websites in the past. I have literally spent hundreds of hours making a personal website before and making it absolutely perfect. I am always afraid to publish it because I still have ideas for cool features that I want to build and integrate, or I want to have it work with a specific technology, or I want to have it look a certain way.

I spend so much effort bogged down in the details that I never actually publish it. I quickly lose steam and get discouraged about my lack of progress. My blog posts go unpublished and my website never sees the light of day.

I’ve gone through this cycle so many times. I build and build and build, spending all this energy seeking perfection and ultimately the project gets abandoned out of exhaustion.

But this year’s theme is to publish more and finish what I start. Therefore I decided that I am not going to wait for it to be perfect. I also want to limit the scope of the project as much as possible, realizing that I can always add details later.

If I already have a live website and I think of a cool feature to add, I can work on it without needing to combine it with an entire website rebuild and content backlog. I can incrementally improve the site as I want to. This will keep me from getting demotivated by it never being published, because I will already have something and only be focused on adding the one feature that interests me, as opposed to all the ancillary stuff that bores me.

The old me would be embarrassed about my first iteration because it lacks perfection. But this time I am going to embrace it as a milestone and iterative canvas.

You might notice that there is no fancy about page, just a few paragraphs on the index page. I’m not sure whether or not the RSS feed works yet, but then again I doubt anyone is even reading this yet. I don’t have comments either but with no readers then there are no comments to be made. I want to have a way to subscribe to email updates but I can always add that later too.

The wiki page is a work in progress. It hasn’t been started but I also have a long way to go to figure out how I want that to work. The contact page (what I am calling the connect page) is as simple as I could imagine it, with a few links to my social media profiles.

I kept it simple and focused but the important thing is that it’s live and in many ways that is why I am so proud of it. I actually published something without making it perfect. This might seem inconsequential but it is a huge personal milestone and the first accomplishment towards my theme of 2024 to publish more.

How I Built It

I plan to go into detail on each of these more in the future, but I wanted to share a quick overview of how I built this site.

Technology Stack:

  • Astro: I built this site with Astro, a new static site generator. I wrote about my experience with it in my last post.
  • Tailwind CSS: I used Tailwind CSS for the styling of the site. I have some strong opinions about Tailwind that I will share in a future post.
  • Cloudflare Pages: I am hosting this site on Cloudflare Pages. This is my first time using Cloudflare Pages (I have a lot of experience with Cloudflare WAF and CDN), and I was excited to try this out. More details coming soon after I have more experience with it.
  • Cloudflare: I am using Cloudflare for DNS, CDN, and SSL. I have a lot of experience and truly trust these services, I consider them best-in-class. The free tier is generous.
  • GitHub: I am using GitHub for version control and to host the source code for this site. It is a staple of course.

The rest of the site is simple. It is mostly just HTML and CSS. The pages are static. You won’t find many interactive elements on the site yet, which allowed me to save time and keep it simple and reliable.

There is no dark mode either, search or other futures which we can add as we progress through the year and those can all be their own blog or wiki posts.

What’s Next?

I have a lot of ideas for what I want to publish next. There are also a lot of different places I hope to take this website, but the most important thing is that I have somewhere to start. I didn’t keep building until it was perfect, but I published what I started and I can expand from here.

I have a lot of ideas for what I want to do with this website. I want to continue to publish frequent (aiming for daily) updates in my notes section. I also want to build out the wiki section to share my knowledge and go into depth on topics. Those may still take a little more time, but at least I have a place to start. I have a place to start publishing.

Today was the mark of my first act of publishing.

© 2024 J. Alexander Curtis (Jacurtis)