If this is not the first time you visit my blog, you might wonder what happened to the design of the site.
Before the default TwentyTwenty theme I had a very advanced frontend, with several transition animations, Swup.js to avoid loading pages by simulating a single page app, and a lot of other advanced stuff.
For a developer his own site is his showcase on the world, so it goes without saying that using the latest technologies and showing different virtuosities is useful to show the world what you are capable of. The problem arises when the time to develop and maintain such a site starts to become too much. And when I mean too much, I mean that moment when you start huffing when you discover bugs, and after a day of work you have to sit in front of the computer again to work.
In addition, working on such a highly customized and advanced site requires a lot of time for testing, bugfixing and fixing everything to be as accessible as possible. Time that, for example, could be dedicated to creating quality content.
I stopped for a moment, then, to reflect on what was best for me: is showing virtuosity worth it? Do I need it? What quality does the content of my blog have?
And the answers were, respectively: no, no, medium low.
Arrived at this point, I also found the answer to the question that I often asked myself: but why do some very competent developers (you can see from their contents) have extremely simple sites, often using already made themes?
Now that I’m one of them too (maybe not for competence, but surely because now I use a simple site too) I can give an answer to you too that maybe are asking you the same question.
A simple site leaves room for content
Not having to deal with the code on my site anymore was a breath of fresh air.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a developer and I like writing code, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this job.
But I write code eight hours a day, and having to literally get back to work as soon as I got home was something that was starting to weigh on me. I, after all, just want to have a showcase where I can share what I learn and maybe help other developers.
I’m not a freelancer, I don’t need to show my skills to anyone.
Now, finally, I can raise the quality level of my content, simply because I have more time to spend on what to communicate than on how to show it without bugs.
I’m not a designer
I mainly do frontend, and I like it because I’m a pretty “visual” person.
I can tell when a design is good or bad, I know the basics of web design and I think I have some good taste… but that’s not enough to be able to design a clean, beautiful and solid design for a site.
Being a designer is a complicated job, and that of the developer too. I have neither the time nor the desire to deepen my knowledge of web design on a par with my knowledge of web development. You have to be honest sometimes.
I do development, and a designer can do design a thousand times better than I can. Why try my hand in this field, spending hours and hours, only to have a mediocre result?
Now I’m using the default WordPress theme “TwentyTwenty”. It has a solid design, nice to look at and clean. I just changed the color scheme, simply because I like sites in dark mode. Otherwise I haven’t modified anything at all, and it works great. Aesthetically, too.
When I started to develop my site I did not, unfortunately, consider accessibility as a priority.
When I went deeper into the subject and became passionate about it, it was really too late to solve all the problems that my site had on the accessibility front.
TwentyTwenty is already accessible and ready, without having spent a minute more of my time. That’s perfect.
My free time must be pleasant
Not having to deal with the code anymore freed my mind and made it much more pleasant to deal with the content of my site.
Suddenly I came up with new ideas about new posts, the desire to write and use my site as my personal space in the immensity of the web came back to me.
I have other projects that require writing code in my spare time, like my WordPress translation plugin, and even on that front now I feel more charged and eager to write code just back home.
There are also other priorities
Having personal projects in parallel with work is nice, but in the life of a developer there is not only code.
I have many other hobbies to which I wish to give space and to whom the development of my site took precious time, as well as the other tasks and things to do that we all have.
A team of developers worked on the development of TwentyTwenty, a full-time team that has been engaged on several fronts: design, reliability, accessibility, etc..
They certainly did a much better job than I could have done with my site, working on it alone and only in my spare time. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?