Personal website v3

Few projects of mine have been as uninspired as the redesign of my personal website.

It was originally motivated by my desire to document my 6 month motorcycle trip. As that trip progressed, I found that documenting it was at odds with enjoying it. I grossly underestimated the effort it takes to turn reality into a compelling story.

With that realisation, the redesign lost its direction, and it took me a whole year to finish and release it. Other projects got in the way: I rebuilt an old motorcycle, made shelves for my pantry, and geared up for another long trip.

Eventually, I buckled down and finished the damn thing, borrowing heavily from All About Berlin's infrastructure.

This time, it's personal

Perhaps the greatest difficulty with this website was finding a purpose for it. I live from All About Berlin. Finding clients is not a concern anymore. I don't need to sell myself. I don't feel the need to share my travel stories either. Those are better shared over a pint.

With nothing to promote, I built a truly personal website. I put little effort into the design, and just created a space for things I wanted to share. This iteration might not look as good as the previous ones, but it serves its purpose far better.

Technical improvements

The old website ran on an older version of WordPress. It wasn't mobile-friendly, and my ageing eyes found it hard to read even on a desktop screen. It didn't even use HTTPS!

The rewrite features an extra decade of web development experience, including many lessons borrowed from All About Berlin. This time, I built it with Craft, served it with nginx, and ran it inside docker. Craft makes the website easier to maintain and extend. Nginx makes it faster. Docker makes it easier to deploy. This new setup is entirely under source control, something rather difficult to achieve with WordPress running directly on the host.

Garbage collection

With this redesign, I also wanted to remove a decade of old stuff. The server that hosted nicolasbouliane.com also hosted wisercoder.com, and a miscellany of other small projects. Those only stayed online because it was more trouble to remove them, or because I simply forgot about them.

Here are some of them:

I moved the content from wisercoder.com to my personal website, redirected all traffic to it, and let the domain expire. Everything else got deleted.

Now, there's just this website, and it's good enough.