A whole new website

(July 29, 2018)

I let this slide again, my bad. But I've finally managed to complete two personal projects.

Most recently I've been working on InTheBottle and this new website.

InTheBottle was an old PHP project which I put together in 2013. The website allows strangers to leave drawings and messages and grew to a fairly reasonable size.

But over time the website fell apart and was painfully difficult to maintain. When I came to fixing it after it had broken, it was just really bad programming at its core.

Since then I have learnt a ton of useful knowledge outside and in work. Looking back it was quite refreshing to see I had grown.

I've rebuilt the website with Laravel, React and Socket.io. Now it is complete I do question why Laravel is in there but it's what I've been using at work and is super quick to build API's with.

I probably should take the website and change it fully into a React application, instead of relying on Laravel for the routing. But at the time I only had planned for the drawing application to be built with React.

There are a ton of elements on the page, which are separate React apps, I'm not sure if this impacts performance but I have a feeling it might.

The new website includes better validation of the drawings, faster drawing loading and a realtime canvas at the top.

The site has been live a while and has had some masterpieces drawn on it, as well as the usual shit.

One of my favourites in the beginning

Slipping now

and obviously anything you see on the website I haven't pre-approved or checked. There is a ton of offensive content on the website.

However I have plans on how to combat this in the future.

As for my new website which you're look'n at right now!

I built it with Gatsby, which has been great. GraphQL was a bit fiddly to learn at the start but I think I have a handle on it now.

Gatsby is a static site generator meaning the page is making no external database calls when browsing. It's super super fast and you should definitely give it a go.

As for the style of this new site, I was kinda aiming for something a bit "brutalist"?

I think I might couple the site with something clean, white and professional in the future (or maybe a toggle switch?) but sometimes its fun to throw some purple and yellow around.

I love the straightforwardness of the site and how friggen quick it is. I do wonder if a HTML page can rival the speed Gatsby offers, since Gatsby does not reload all the content when navigating to different pages.

I did use flex for both, and I think I might be regretting that now.