New design and new blog

22 December 2019

If you happen to look at this post at the end of 2019 (or beginning of 2020), you are one of the very few people who have discovered my new blog. I toyed with the idea of creating one for quite a while now, and the rewrite of this website provided the perfect opportunity.

I'm currently hugely interested in the Rust programming language which is why I discovered the static size generator Zola (which is written in Rust) that gave me this itch in my fingers to create something new with it. A few days of fixing paddings later, the design you are currently looking at came to life. I might still tweak a few things here and there, but nothing major should change.

I took a few things into consideration while creating the new design. The Manifesto for Preserving Content on the Web is worth a read and points out a few things that are wrong with modern websites that I took some inspiration from.

No JavaScript

While JavaScript is not a bad thing, it can make a website feel slow and do all kinds of crazy things. Many people feel obligated to use Vue or React to build the simplest of websites when HTML and CSS can get you all the way there. The content generation can happen on the server side or, like on this website, can be done by the developer with a tool like Zola.

No Hotlinking

Relying on external sources makes your website vulnerable to downtime you're not responsible for. Getting Vue from a CDN is handy and might even speed up loading time if a user has it cached, but when that CDN goes down it will take your website with it. Self host your resources and you do not have to worry about that. Not to mention that you are much more likely to have a GPDR compliant website if your website doesn't download resources from third parties.

Inline styles

Making HTTP requests is slow. It is faster to download one 100kB document than to download two 50kB documents. When using a static site generator it is really easy to include your stylesheet in your HTML file, speeding up page loads for your users.

Image compression

You might have noticed the image at the top of this post, but probably didn't pay any further attention to it. That's why I could compress it a lot without anyone really noticing, while on some websites a 4MB header image is downloaded when no one will ever need that amount of detail.

All of the above can be summarized by simply saying: Be resourceful. While your website can do a lot of things that are very cool, these things are also often bandwidth or computationally intensive. By keeping your website as simple as it can be, you will keep yourself and your users happy.