Dan Denney illustration


I'm in the process of rebuilding my personal site. It kinda sucks that I was more or less forced into it, but I have wanted to do it for a while. I'm taking it as an opportunity to do something very different.

CMS Free

It sounds crazy but I am not going to use any CMS on this site. I have been writing markup for about 11 years and the past 2 have been primarily in a Rails environment. Aside from that, I have some WordPress and ExpressionEngine experience. In all of these, you have to deal with a great deal of markup that isn't of your choosing. Things come in dynamically from the framework, gems, plugins, etc. Inspired by Zeldman's recent post , I'm going back to my personal site being my playground and I want to choose all of the sand.

I don't recommend this to everyone

This is a personal preference and exploration and it is horribly inefficient for business purposes. However, working on my personal site is a hobby. It is a time for playing and for relaxation. I don't relax when I am pasting code into a WordPress input and reading about how to not have it wrap my sample <script> tags in a <p> tag. I debated on a static site generator but they have a weird feel about them too. Most want to lean towards markdown and have a long list of helpers to learn. For work and efficency these are very good things but I love markup and I want to write it. I just want to write it and I want every piece of markup in this site to be a conscious choice.

Building in Public

I don't get a lot of traffic, but those of you who made it here will get to see this process and I'll share how things go. Here are my to-dos:

  1. Build a list of all the things that I use to rebuild. (ongoing)
    • 15" Macbook Pro
    • Sublime Text 2
    • Codekit
    • Github
    • Mediatemple Hosting
    • Typekit
    • Muji Notebook
    • Some random pen
    • Icomoon
    • xScope
    • Kuler
    • 0to255
  2. Set up Github, both for versioning and to deploy to the server.
  3. Gather the resources that I know I'll need for design (fonts and images).
  4. Define how to structure the files.
  5. Design the nav.
  6. Design the basic post style.
  7. Get recent posts back up in the basic post style. (The ones below have content but you'll need your back button)

That will get me started and I'll have a MVW (minimum viable website). Getting the recent posts back up are important to me because I had shared how much a few people had helped me recently and I want those back up so others know how awesome they are.

Thank you, kinda

So while it sucks that some script kiddies started injecting my database with malware, it has gotten me passionate about rebuilding my personal site. So thank you, kinda.