Redeveloping my portfolio

I’m excited to start a new section to my portfolio and that is this blog! I have considered writing posts on topics of interest to me such as my work, projects and the industry of web development and design for some time now. What held me back, other than my lack of eloquent writing and available time, was a proper medium or outlet for these writing pieces. My current portfolio is a simple static website, produced in very little time for very specific purpose (finding new jobs). It can’t support blog posts easily without integrating a whole blogging platform. As the site itself was temporary (a looooong temporary that is) I’d want to redevelop the site at the same time. Starting fresh with a new design and possibly a CMS to integrate quite seamlessly with these posts.

That leads us to this writing series. I had originally planned to start writing blog posts after the new site was complete, however knowing this would be sometime down the track I opted for a temporal solution that could be migrated across to the finished platform once complete. I figured the project of redeveloping and designing my site itself could be documented via blog posts and ease myself into writing regularly.  When deciding to start redeveloping my site and in the process write about it, so many ideas came to mind on various topics, it was clear I could not wait until the site was done to begin writing.

I plan for my posts to be quite unstructured and informal in their delivery. This is a medium for me to freely write about those topics that interest me and hopefully enable exploration of other ideas through community feedback. What you can expect from me in terms of posts will ultimately be a result of the current projects I’m working on. Initially my posts will surround the process of the website redevelopment then gradually shift focus to the wider industry of web development.

As with every project, a decision on what tools and frameworks should be utilised for the desired outcome has to be made. I feel this almost takes as long as some of the actual development in some cases.  I’m at that stage now, trying to decide on what best to use. The bigger question for me is what CMS or platform should I use for the entire project? I’m still not quite sure on what I will settle on however here are some of the high level requirements I set-out to achieve when redeveloping my site.

My high level goals:

  • The site needs to cater to writing pieces as much as a visual showcase of my work. Sometimes portfolio websites become far too focused on a visual experiments, trying to differentiate it from the last and they sometimes overlook core competencies when delivering an easy to read website. I need to address users who wish to view my portfolio and still provide them a publication experience (similar to something like CSS-tricks).
  • It needs to be lean and fast. I’d like to explore techniques into creating a very fast an accessible website. Now I’m sure no one goes out of their way and thinks “You know what!? I’m going to build a bloated website!”, and the same could be said for me. However I’d like to follow in similar footsteps to Smashing Magazine and take an active approach to making page load speed a priority.
  • I’d like to try and learn as much as possible. I’m not in a huge rush to get this site complete (now that I have this nifty blog) and so I’d like to spend time where I can to try learn new things and techniques to help further my skill set.

These are just some main points I’d like to underpin most of my decisions when working on this project. They will of course change and grow as the project is worked on, hopefully this can be all documented along the way.

In further posts I will jump into my current progress on the project and cover my overall thoughts.