Evolution, not revolution
Last week, I released a new version of my website. It finally focuses on the educational content I have been meaning to work on for forever. This took me a few months of working nights and weekends, because it required a complete rewrite. Because Jekyll could no longer support what I wanted to do, I decided to migrate everything to Gatsby. I had put this off for a long time, but it had become inevitable. The old system just didn’t cut it anymore.
It was a miniature version of many of the projects we do.
While everything changed under the hood, the new design looks almost identical to the old one. Many rewrites use this “opportunity” to redo the design from scratch at the same time. By doing so, one massive project turns into two massive projects. Had I done that, I never would have finished.
Instead, I kept the pieces that worked and only tweaked those that didn’t. By keeping what works well, we can focus on one problem at a time. The result is an improved version of what came before it. It’s not the final form, but the next step in the site’s evolution.
I tweeted a few before-and-after comparisons that highlight some of the changes:
A project like this is never really “done”. Instead of tweaking everything to perfection, I wanted to release it in a form that is good enough. You would help me out a great deal by letting me know about bugs I might have missed. If you have any ideas about what else the site is missing, please also reply to this message and tell me. Thank you so much!
Writing is best when it is easily understood by readers. Everything I write goes through an extensive editing phase to improve its readability.
A coherent and high quality icon set can level up a design. FontAwesome is good, but there are alternatives.
If good artists copy and great artists steal, why shouldn’t new artists destroy? Break some designs to learn the details that make them work.
When changing from one domain name to another, we can use redirects to keep all existing links in place and avoid a dip in search engine rankings.