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dlford.io Redesign 2022, and What the Future Holds

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A fresh new site built with Hugo, Webpack, and a little bit of React

Well, it’s 2022

My last article here was almost exactly two years ago. I’ll spare you the excuses; I got busy, life happened, and here we are.

The good news is - I am back at it!

The New Site

Yep, I rebuilt the site again. Gatsby was great, don’t get me wrong, but it just feels so heavy now. Maybe I added too many cool features, but build times are sky high, Lighthouse scores are low, my “Buy Me a Coffee” plugin mysteriously doesn’t work in CI but works flawlessly in local testing, at the end of the day it just doesn’t spark joy anymore.

Obviously one main goal of the new site was performance (I think I nailed it!), but another, more important, goal was improved accessibility. I’m still evaluating some areas, but overall I think it is much better than the old site, and will continue to improve as time goes on.

MDX was also pretty great, but sort of limiting. Sure, I can use React in my markdown files, but what if I just need something simple? No dice, it’s React or nothing.

Beyond that, the old site is, well, old. We all learn new things every day and technologies are changing faster than we can keep up with, so it was just time.

Ultimately, I don’t think React is the right tool for a blog. It’s a fair bit of overhead for a site that barely, if at all, utilizes React’s strengths; reactivity, or interactivity.

Future Content

I’m sure you’ve guessed that I’ll be starting a new series on Hugo, where I will explain in depth how I built this site with Hugo, Webpack, Lambda functions, and a splash or two of React, but only where it is needed.

I’ll also be continuing with the Home Lab series.

I’m thinking about some new ideas for content as well, if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them in the comments below! Also, feel free to let me know what you think of the new site!