Jared Andrews

Making This Site, Part 10: Postmortem

The site is now finished and deployed. I went through it and proofread everything. Hopefully these are articles are now readable :D

Thoughts on Pelican

Building this website was my first time using Pelican and my first time making a finished website with any Static Site Generator.

Overall, I have been satisfied with Pelican. I find the default behaviors to be sensible and easy to understand. Once I understood the basics of Pelican, I was able to extrapolate on that and make assumptions instead of looking at the docs. Most of the time my assumptions were correct.

Pelicans open source nature and plugin architecture makes it easy to modify and figure out what's going wrong. I looked into the Pelican source code several times while developing this site and it was easy to understand and well documented.

I started working on this site in later 2015 and resumed work again in early 2017. When I resumed work on it I upgraded Pelican from 3.6.3 to 3.7.1. Doing this update didn't break any code which was a pleasant surprise.

Design Over Time

One cool aspect of this site and it's corresponding repository is that every commit could be theoretically deployed. I have gone back and added links to a generated version of the site at the end of every article.

Here is what the evolution of the index page and first article looked like over time:

Animation of front page over time

Animation of post over time

Keeping the Design Simple

I wanted the design of this site to be simple. A secret goal of mine was having a website that looks good in the Lynx browser. I think this goal has been met:

jaredandrews.com rendered in Lynx

I also wanted it to be readable with no CSS at all:

jaredandrews.com in Firefox with no styles applied

Hell yea!

What's Next

The site is finished and now it really begins. I will be adding content and probably making a lot more changes to the ways it laid out. I'm not sure if I will continue to document those changes but if I do something particularly interesting, I will be sure to write about it.