Take a look around. Notice anything different? Yes, the theme has changed! That’s the obvious thing, and it’s actually going to change again, hopefully some time in the next few months. There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes for this site, so let’s take a look.
As I said, you probably noticed the redesign. Heck, I’ve been using Ezoic to experiment with layouts and ad placement to create the best possible income from the site while also providing a great experience for you guys as readers, so you may have noticed changes beforehand, but those weren’t “really” changes because they were being applied by some really cool software from Ezoic. I’ve temporarily turned off their experiments, so I can push my own changes forward, which is what you see right now.
The theme you see is a slightly modified version of Hueman. I needed something that was beautiful that I could get working quickly, and this was it. The reason I needed to change was because of a huge change to the back end of the site: I’ve moved from WordPress to a static generated site. In case you don’t know what that means, a static generated site is a site that let’s you author your pages and posts, etc. using something like markdown or plain HTML, but then you run a generator program that takes that content that you’ve written, and, combines it with a theme and creates an entire website filled with .html files.
Recently I’ve noticed that my site was being slow, plus WordPress was giving me inexplicable errors in the admin. The performance got so bad that my host (I’m on a shared hosting plan through HostGator) shut down my website’s account because it was using more than its allotted CPU and RAM resources way too often. I worked for days uninstalling and reconfiguring plugins to help the performance improve, which made it acceptable to my host, but it still wasn’t acceptable to me. So, static site it is!
Now that it’s up and running, the next project is to create my own theme for it. Over 2 years ago I talked about rebranding the site and I’m finally going to do it, though it could still take several months or more. I’m going to do my best to make the site beautiful and focus on the reading, but still let me afford to keep the site up and running through ads.
I also have a few more changes in mind that will improve your experience on this site even more:
- Back to writing some more: I’ll be attempting to get back to a more regular schedule for writing. No guarantees, since I’m actually running a couple other sites now as well plus my 4th child was just born, but I at least hope to bump the number above the 4 that I wrote last year, 1 of which wasn’t actually written by me.
- Better Performance: I mentioned that I got a performance gain by switching to a static generated site, now I hope to make it even better, by…
- taking more control over scripts/css to make sure there’s nothing being loaded that doesn’t need to be (mainly using a customized build of jQuery or even moving away from jQuery)
- switching hosts to either Amazon S3 or Azure plus a more powerful CDN (this could also be a cheaper option than my current host)
- Remove ads altogether! This one depends on you guys, though. Some time soon-ish, I’ll be starting up a Patreon account and if you guys can support me enough, I’ll drop the ads, which will make loading faster and remove all the ugly bits of the site.
This site may have been largely dormant for the past year and a half or so, but I promise a better future. Let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments or on social media. I really want to get this site in tip-top shape so your input can be very important to me. Thanks everyone!