NM

Client: Self Initiated
Platform: Web
Year: 2016 – Current
TechStack: WordPress, GSAP, ScrollTrigger, Sass

For the 6th iteration of my personal website, I had a pretty clear vision for what I wanted this site to achieve. Most importantly, it should have a timeless design and built on a robust platform. This would allow me to focus on creating new projects and content instead of reinventing this site every few years.

Requirements

Considering my future plans for the site, I wanted this build to achieve the following:

  1. Robust content management
  2. Custom theming
  3. Blogging
  4. Long term community support

Researching CMS platforms, WordPress checked all of the boxes and had great documentation. Making it an obvious choice for this build.

Design

Naturally the site branding is an extension of my personal identity, utilizing a grey scale color pallet with a bright green for primary actions. Typography is set in Helvetica Neue, supplied by Linotype for web usage. Each page was responsively designed to consider the ideal content formatting for each device type.

Development

WordPress has great open source support and I was able to use the barebones s_theme as a starting point. Utilized MAMP to setup a local dev environment and began implementing the responsive designs. Later setting up a virtual private server to host the site and installed an SSL certificate to encrypt traffic. I learned a lot about the backend setting up these servers. Here are some performance metrics for the theme and a modest VPS:

July 2019October 2021Difference
Performance91%90%-1%
Accessibility62%79%17%
Best Practices86%100%14%
SEO92%83%-9%

Thoughts

This site has been in production for 4+ years, exceeding my prior portfolio websites in longevity. The WordPress platform has meet my expectations for content management and the site has performed well with ongoing maintenance. At the time I was debating between WordPress and Ghost for the CMS. Writing this case study today, Ghost probably would have been the better choice so I could convert it to a headless CMS and build out a React front-end.