I like to tinker with my own site. I can’t help it. 🙂
It has to be this way. I think a developer’s personal site should constantly evolve. It hasn’t been that long since my last site refresh, however this time I rebuilt everything from the ground up.
You’re looking at a new and improved site.
I experimented with a variety of different solutions beyond WordPress to see if anything would be a better fit. I looked at PyroCMS, Octopress, Pelican and Statamic. The whole static site generator craze has me intrigued. A few designers and developers I respect have made the switch, including Mark Boulton and Dave Rupert. Ultimately though, I stuck with what I love – WordPress. It just has so much flexibility and support that I can’t let that go. Plus, it’s just fun to develop with.
I created the last version of my site as a child theme of Duster. Child themes are awesome, but I wanted more power so I started with Underscores and went the custom route this time around.
I kept all of my existing features, including my projects custom post type and taxonomies. But this time I made a functionality plugin to store my post types and other custom theme functionality that needs to be carried over from theme to theme.
New features include:
- mobile first design, using Fluid Baseline Grid as a starting point. Older browsers get served Respond.js to maintain the responsiveness.
- Tim Brown’s modular scale technique. I deviated from a strict baseline grid.
- the web font Franklin Gothic URW from Typekit. I use Open Sans for my logo.
- icons from the icon font IcoMoon.
- a footer background pattern from Subtle Patterns.
- a simple set of quotes that display in the footer randomly when a page loads. Right now, all of these are from Benjamin Franklin, because his quotes always make me stop and think, or smile. I’ll add more later.
I wanted the design to reflect something new, but still feel familiar to anyone who has visited my site before. So I kept a black and white with blue color scheme and stuck with a traditional minimal two-column layout.
I’ve taken great care to make the site as accessible as possible. I have:
- included visible skip links.
- included invisible headings with all of the site’s navigation elements.
- implemented ARIA roles where appropriate.
- made sure the various color combinations pass both WCAG 2 AA and WCAG 2 AAA.
- served up the default font size (16px) in browsers for most areas of the site. Font sizes are served in percentages and ems to maintain fluidity.
- plans to make the dropdown menus keyboard accessible.
I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak things as I find bugs and ways to improve the site. After all, I did say I liked to tinker.