Redesigning My Blog

Nov 09, 2023

I’ve decided to redesign my passionately crafted “personal blog” before it even turned a year old. I want to document this process candidly.

Rediscovering What I Want to Do

Getting a job is not the final destination.
‘What do I really want to do?’ is a question we must continually ask ourselves.
Let’s burn our one-time youth to achieve what we desire. The job is just a means to an end.

by 5 months in a startup, and what I gained.

This quote has been a guiding beacon since joining Kakao. Busy with life, this reminder helped me rediscover what I truly want to do.

I yearn to create something simple, clear, smooth, and relaxed. I want these qualities to become a sort of brand identity in everything I touch, and my self-built blog seemed the perfect canvas for this expression.

Reflecting on My Previous Blog

Hence, I felt compelled to revisit my previous blog.

It was a piece made with great effort, and I was satisfied with its softness. However, I sensed an underlying discomforting complexity.

There were several areas of dissatisfaction:

  • The wide gaps between contents led to easy distraction and fatigue.
  • The narrow space between the title and text felt claustrophobic.
  • The content was skewed to the left, making consumption burdensome.
  • The code highlighting differed from vscode, reducing immersion.
  • The variety in font sizes and styles made the UI feel cluttered.

I longed for an extremely simplified screen.

Redesigning the Blog

Just then, I stumbled upon some inspiring figures during my commutes, discovered through Twitter. Paco Coursey, Rauno, and Anthony Fu gave me abundant inspiration. I was burning with passion to create a stunning blog like theirs.

The first step was the “Next.js 13 app directory transition”.

  • Curiosity about the then-new app directory.
  • Taking cues from the robust Next.js 13 project structure of shadcn/ui.
  • Implementing rehype-pretty-code, a more vscode-like syntax highlighter based on shiki.
  • Emulating the sophisticated simple layouts of these artisans.

This led me to rethink content as well.

  • I wanted to more clearly distinguish between writings containing my thoughts and opinions and those conveying information.
  • This differentiation gave birth to Writing and Note.
  • The process involved diligent development → recording discoveries in Obsidian → composing content into articles.

By July and August, the blog had taken shape.

Addressing each dissatisfaction brought immense peace of mind. Particularly, the example post page was very satisfying. It rekindled my desire to write.

I kept the source code public, hoping it might help someone.

Transitioning to Astro

However, I quickly decided to move platforms. I wanted to include not just writings but also interesting things like dnd-playground (crafts). Although I was eagerly using Svelte at work and wanted to tinker with it, Next.js focused on React, making it challenging to handle code in various languages.

Then, a colleague introduced me to Astro.

  • Optimized for content delivery, it’s just fast.
  • Framework-level support for markdown settings.
  • More intuitive handling of html.
  • Easy integration of different languages through Astro Islands.

I thought, “This is it.” It felt like the pinnacle of MPA. If Brunch were to be migrated to a new framework, Astro seemed highly appealing. Though that day might never come.

Thus, the work began, and by September and October, the blog was newly revamped. I plan to write a separate post about this experience.

That’s how the Craft section was added to the blog.
Additionally, I used the trending bun as the package manager for the first time. It was noticeably fast.

Furthermore, I added my philosophy and details about the post layout to the example post.

Finally Purchasing a Domain

I bought the domain from Gabia. Compared to other sites, it seemed cheaper and the UI cleaner. I paid 70,000 won for 3 years, considering it like buying a jacket.

Honestly, I was a bit scared to connect a service to a domain for the first time.
But vercel was a godsend.
Just pasting the DNS info immediately connected the domain.

In Conclusion

Maintaining a technical blog really seems impossible without true love for it. I must continually confront my feelings to maintain this affection. “What do you want to do with your blog?”