8. Launch developer-forge

I have a few websites at the minute. I think the total count is around 10. One of them was my personal blogging site. It was written in Next.js, called developer-forge

I had become increasingly frustrated with it though, and as a side effect was barely blogging on it

I really enjoy technical writing, so it was annoying that I just couldn't muster up the effort to tear it down and start again

What was bad about it? What were the problems?

  1. It had really poor image insertion ability
  2. I wanted to add search onto the site (which was a pretty big change)
  3. I wanted to be able to categorise my posts, for example: 30-projects articles, code snippets or external-posts. This would allow me to filter down my posts much easier
  4. I didn't want a CMS. I wanted to just edit bare files in my codebase
  5. I wanted to completely re-design my breadcrumb
  6. I wanted to use stable technology. I've been on the bleeding edge before, and the constant head-ache of updating things was more pain than gain

This was alongside some more small pieces I wanted to ensure also (posts must be written in Markdown etc etc)

This then led me to spending a few months playing with a few different technologies to try and find the best, simplest fit

I knew exactly which choices were wrong! But knowing which one was right was a little trickier

I ended up playing with a whole host of new technologies. I played with Ruby, Jekyll, Svelete and a few more

Mostly static site renderers, because that's my preference for a blend between simplicity and speed

I played around with Algolia quite a lot too, to understand how search generally works in software applications. I got a very basic proof of concept running wired into Algolia

I eventually found Vue to be the best fit for what I wanted to do, and there was a really great starter template created by meteorxly

So please go and visit the shiny new developer-forge 😉

This project ended up taking around a year which was much, much longer than I expected. But I also moved between a few different tech choices before I finally settled and "doubled down" on what I think was the right choice

I had to move around 80 articles into this new platform, so I wanted to make sure whatever I chose wouldn't need to be constantly migrated. I know developers get a bad-rap for constantly moving to the newest shiny tool, but I really didn't fancy the admin of moving the 80 or so articles I've wrote more than once, so this was more of a "measure-twice and cut-once" project

During this time also, Elon bought Twitter and killed Revue which was my email-newsletter provider which meant I had to migrate all my 30-projects subscribers from one platform to another (thanks Elon! 😡😉)

But it's done now! And I'm so proud with it, I've already wrote 3 new articles on there and shipped my next 30-projects!

Onto project nine ✔️