The Fight Against the Redesign

For the past twelve months, I have tried to redesign my website. As you can tell from the timespan and the modifier of the verb, it hasn’t gone very well.

The details of the many failed attempts (and there were many) are not very interesting. Suffice it to say, they all shared the same fundamental mistake: They tried to add stuff to the existing design, when what I really needed to do was to remove stuff. A lot of it. So that’s what I did with the current design, which came into being within an hour or two when my frustration with the fight against the redesign hit its peak. Coal, meet pressure.

The new design is very simple, very lightweight and very fast. I’ve done away with the huge images, limited the number of layouts and relied on a font stack consisting only of system fonts, reducing page size and the number of requests.

Before Now
Front page 524 KB 299 KB
Themes 2.3 MB 1.5 MB
Theme 2.0 MB 0.3 MB
Writing 2.7 MB 0.2 MB
Blog Post 4.4 MB 2.1 MB

Despite my goal to remove stuff, I couldn’t resist adding a couple of new things in the redesign as well. The first one is the FAQ page, which covers some of the most common questions I get about my themes. The second one is a pushState AJAX solution called Barba.js, which is a progressive enhancement approach to creating smooth transitions when loading pages.

The poor state of this website has been nagging at me for over a year. I’m super happy to finally be able to look at it without feeling an immediate need to fire up Sketch.