In summary

I hard-coded this website in HTML and CSS in the Atom text editor, using HTML5 Boilerplate and Skeletonize CSS as my backbone. I modified imagery from the Biodiversity Heritage Library and created a few simple Javascript scripts to display random images on my website. The nice fonts come from Google Fonts. My content is all written in Markdown, and I use Hugo to bundle it all together. It’s hosted using Netlify. Check out my GitLab repo to see the guts of this website.

In a bit more detail

Y’all remember Neopets?

Yeah. That’s where this all began. Neopets. If you wanted to have a cool petpage on Neopets dot com, you needed to get good at HTML and CSS. So that’s just what I did. Javascript was banned so it took me quite a few years later to pick it up.

I’ve had a draft kicking around for years, ever since I registered the domain in high school in ~2011. It wasn’t until 10 years later that I actually sat down and finally.. did the thing. By this point my needs had grown from displaying a simple single-page CV. I needed pages! Content! A CMS! Thankfully in the 10 years I’ve been procrastinating this website, the Hugo static site generator (SSG) was invented and perfected. Mike Dane’s Hugo tutorial series was indispensable for me to get this project off the ground.

The vintage natural history imagery on this website all comes from the incredible Biodiversity Heritage Library Flickr page. These folks have spent countless hours digitizing natural history content and uploading high resolution imagery to the web free for anyone to use. Just amazing. I spent a few days going through their files and picking out pictures I liked, and tried to do my best to pick things other than just fish. I then cleaned them up in iPad Procreate for my website.

Why GitLab over GitHub? Well, GitLab is open-source. When GitHub was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 I migrated my stuff over. I don’t know if it was meaningful at all to migrate over, but once I did, it felt silly to migrate all my stuff back. So here we are.

Netlify has been amazing to work with. Really, my only issue with it is it’s really easy to type it out incorrectly as Netifly 🦋 in the config files. Whenever I make a change on my local machine and then push it to GitLab, my website automatically updates, thanks to Netlify. Here’s a really good tutorial on the basics of hosting a Hugo website with Git and Netlify.