A little site update
My site hasn’t had an update in a while. I broke the local version in the autumn last year, and told myself I needed to fix it before I posted again… a few months later and here we are!
Site.js and the starter theme
In our Small is Beautiful #2 livestream, I spoke about how I spent a lot of last year creating a Hugo starter theme for Site.js. We decided to move in a different direction with Site.js, but I’d built so much cool stuff into this new theme (please let me be pleased with myself for once!) it seemed a waste to not make use of it.
One of the key ideas behind the starter theme was to make a theme that could work for a whole website, or could be an accessible rights-respecting foundation for a site that has its own added-extras on top. Aral and I both use Hugo as the blogging system for our sites, as well as for the Small Tech website. Hugo has a pretty useful system for overriding the defaults in a theme for your own site, and I built the starter theme with customisation and flexibility in mind.
While we aren’t using Site.js itself (we’ve forked it) for our work with the Small Web, that doesn’t mean that Site.js is abandoned. Our aim is that the Small Web is an alternative to many of the Big Web platforms out there today, with a completely different infrastructure. Site.js is a tool for the web as it is today, for developing on a local server, syncing and deploying to your own server, with SSL/TLS certificates and site statistics, and no configuration required. In the future we aim to have Small Web sites that can communicate with each other, and do other useful things, but they’ll be more than we need for a simple static website. Site.js will still be useful for the good old static website, and so my starter theme should hopefully still be useful for anyone who wants to get a site up and running quickly with Site.js and Hugo.
What has changed?
I’ll explain more about how the starter theme works in a later blog post, but here’s some starter theme features I’m using for the new version of my site that you might find handy too:
- responsive images with different sizes generated using Hugo and implemented with
- snazzy photo gallery using Hugo to smart-crop the responsive images
- dark mode (following your operating system’s preferences).
- a subscribe page listing RSS feeds and explaining how to use RSS
- no tracking whatsover (naturally.)
Of course any personal site update probably comes with bagloads of bugs, and if you notice any, please let me know!