Updated Website

I’ve been coding (startup- and PhD-related stuff) almost every day for about half a year now, so this weekend I decided to procrastinate a little bit… by coding non-urgent things. Specifically, I thought my website needed some redesigning.

When I first made it last summer, I had had essentially zero experience of web development. I used Hugo website generator which made my life much easier. I could import a theme, change a few parameters, write a blog post in Markdown and voilĂ —I had a non-bloated static website ready to deploy to a server.

As I’ve learned more about how webpages work,1 I wanted to tweak my website in various little ways. But I spent more time analyzing HTML and CSS definitions of the theme that I was using than actually improving the website. Also, I got tired from my website’s design. Too many people are using that same theme and, also, some stylistic choices didn’t make much sense to me.

Thus, on Friday, I thought I’d give a shot at redesigning the website. I still used Hugo, but instead of importing someone else’s theme, I decided to design HTML templates myself and use Bootstrap for base CSS2. For design inspiration, I used the New York Review of Books website—I adopted one (red and yellow) of their many beautiful color schemes and I also redid blog post headers by mimicking some of their layouts.

Other changes made include:

  • I no longer show estimated reading time for any of the essays.
  • I no longer use Font Awesome icons. I realized I don’t need any icons at all!
  • I converted bitmap images in the blog posts to WebP format for smaller size. One extremely annoying thing is that a lot of websites still don’t support WebP for the Open Graph protocol (used for content previews), so I still have to use JPG or PNG for that.
  • I have a new 404 page!

If you find anything broken, please let me know!

  1. Out of necessity, really, because I needed to build a dynamic web app for creating quiz questions for Ab Initio AI. ↩︎

  2. People who say that Bootstrap is bloated are silly. You can import only the components that you need and, also, most browsers cache CSS so it’s loaded only once anyway. My customized Bootstrap CSS and JavaScript (latter for toggling menu button on small screens) take up less than 100 KB. ↩︎