A much-needed facelift

Evan Frawley
May 4, 2021
3m read

About a year ago, I found Next.js and Vercel and immediately wanted to rebuild my personal site on it. Building it out was super fun! I followed the Next.js tutorial and had a blast learning the languages, not to mention the newfound power of using MDX to easily create blog posts and web pages which before would have easily taken far more time wrapping everything in <div>s and formatting it all nicely.

However... the final result a year ago left much to be desired. I wasn't happy with how it looked and felt, which is probably why I only wrote one real post over the past year.

It was honestly pretty bad. I chose some whack color scheme, the <code> elements were styled poorly, the blog posts themselves did not have reader-friendly formatting, and, perhaps most egregiously, there was no light/dark mode toggle.

So I decided I would clean up my personal site and make it a place where I would be proud to publish random thoughts and articles in perpetuity. After all, if I am a full-stack (frontend leaning) engineer, my personal site better be goddamn beautiful.

A few weeks prior to revisiting it, I finally tried out TailwindCSS while hacking on a side project. The delay for trying out Tailwind came from an association of Tailwind to Boostrap. 5 years ago, I tried out Bootstrap and absolutely hated it. Bootstrap did not interface well with React, and I was unable to customize my components with surgical precision. For at least a year up until this point, I had wrongfully classified TailwindCSS in the same bucket as Bootstrap and boy was I wrong.

TailwindCSS made it so freakishly easy to whip up a new UI, with so meany great features coming right out of the box. Dark mode toggling, typography, lovely mobile responsiveness.

Within a few hours of hacking on my personal site, which was previously built with theme-ui, I had a refreshed UI made with Tailwind and looking fly.

I'd like to take a moment to note as well that I was heavily influenced by Lee Robinson's beautiful personal site while building this updated site.

So alongside bringing the UI up to speed with TailwindCSS, I massaged the blog post typography to my liking, added in a new code block theme (Material Oceanic, which I use in Webstorm!)m abd whipped up and About page that has a neat timeline about all the cool shit that I've done over the years 😄

So now that this site is updated, I definitely want to start putting my thoughts and learnings down, so that I can spread the knowledge with yall!

Made with ❤️ and ☕️