This page is part of a series on the ‘making my own bit of internet’. Here we’re flying at a slightly higher altitude and having a think about the phases of making. There is a lot in my mind and something has to happen first before trying to start it all at once.
I process my ideas and thoughts by documenting this project in its own weblog. You can read more about my thinking and approach to the web, view what tasks are in the backlog and view my Github repo. Once I’m happy with my Figma workflow that will be accessible here too.
Phase one, where I am right now is about getting the foundations of content and design down into documentation layouts. This will then allow me to figure out what card components my content actually needs.
Where to start on this topic. The world of build has changed so much since I was making websites for a living. I moved from making to management right about the time I learnt to use MAMP and github. SCSS had become pretty popular and I was hanging up my hat at that point.
There is 11 years of build frameworks, workflows, server technologies, coding applications and language advancements that I’ve heard of, understand at a primitive value level but have zero experience in using. Where to start?
Phase One: Get it live
Use what knowledge I have to put code live. Keep the existing theme, server, FTP workflow and plugins. All while that is happening, read up on what small advancements I can make from a front end perspective.
Phase Two: Make the front end way better
Eleven years of browser and CSS specs means I can benefit from refactoring my current code and using modern rules to achieve layout consistency across viewports, typography and establish something of a design system
Phase Three: Move to Gutenburg + New Starter Theme
The site currently uses ACF plugin with underscores starter theme to achieve flexible layout containers. From what I can see of Gutenburg, it appears most of the long form custom fields I’ve made could just be created in the modern editor. Perhaps there are still certain logic and conditional parts of my site ACF will be valuable for, but it makes sense to move the_post to the modern editor and enjoy the wins of it living in the database correctly
Phase Four: Move server, run locally
I had a quick look and play with Local by Flywheel. This appears to be the most hassle free way of having a local and remote workflow that isn’t going to cost me heaps of time learning and troubleshooting how to get stuff online. Perhaps this should happen sooner, but, pushing stuff online without it being perfect is better for my motivation, so I don’t have a huge desire to work on local projects for an extended period of time
Somewhat stupidly, I had imagined that my main problems with getting more online were a lack of finished design and the time to code it. Even after fifteen years of doing this, the curse of content still comes to get everyone. I sketched this on the train, it feels somewhat easier when you remember that all three: design, content and code need to be in balance with each other whilst changing the way you might feel. Making a design can help you get down an idea. Producing the content can show you the reality of what the the design looks like now. Coding it and loading it into a browser lets you experience it properly and, inevitably helps you question the code and the design again.
Phase One: Archive, Old docs, Notes, Uni
Getting all the stuff that has been accumulating on hard drives, servers, google docs and note apps is the first thing to get done. It is a balance of not going too deep into the past whilst considering the new things I’ve been working in recent years – see Phase Two. However, I do want to start putting some of my archive university era and agency work up. Even if its a few items it it will help
Phase Two: My work today
Getting todays production online
Phase Three: Content Creation, YouTube
Spotting gaps in the content and creating to fill it. Also, become a YouTuber