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Shiny new site

⦁ 3 minute read.

What was wrong with the old one?

If you scroll back through the git commits of this website (don’t judge the commit messages…), you’ll see that this used to be a Jekyll blog with increasing amounts of customization.

Intro to Jekyll

I never ‘chose’ to use Jekyll, but I didn’t want to pay for site hosting, and that was the only site generator supported by GitHub pages at the time. Jekyll is the original site generator, but it’s written in Ruby, and then the components are written in liquid. Neither of which are language I particularly know.

The version of jekyll and liquid available was very limited, and things like making a table of contents for the site, only really worked in markdown without a massive hassle. The file-based routing was very useful, but is cluttered amongst the project dependencies.

I had recently been learning React and the idea of composing from components, rather than inheriting from layouts started to really appeal to me. The project at the time had a lot of repeated code, and was poorly managed, which meant I never put the effort in to making the site look and feel good, which meant that I didn’t have much motivation to write blog posts.

For the tagged pages I created, I had to make a separate page for each.

I also wanted the ability to convey scientific information easily with ease for a planned blog series with the intention of improving my writing before I have to write my thesis.

SCSS in Liquid example

I wanted to have some critical CSS as an inline style element, but when you can use SCSS, you don’t want to go back to raw CSS.

<style type="text/css">
  {%- capture critical_scss -%}
    {%- include critical.scss -%}
  {%- endcapture -%}
  {{- critical_scss | scssify -}}
<style lang="scss">
  p {
    color: #fff;

Jekyll wasn’t cutting the mustard for me, so I looked in search for greener pastures.

The Shiny New One ✨

Whilst it isn’t particularly shiny, it’s better in a lot of ways.

I finally bought a domain name! 🥳

I also learned CSS grid. Before this, I had just been using flexbox for everything because it was easy, but you’ll notice a few grids on this site if for no other reason that for me to practice using them.


Astro is a static-site generator (well, at least, I’m using it as one). I love Astro, mainly because it’s fast.


I like React, if for no other reason than the incredible React three fiber, but it seems like a waste sending all of that expensive javascript to the client, when it’s going to be the same website every time.

We can partially hydrate something.