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Redesigning My Website While Learning Web Development

Redesigning my wesbite initially started after I decided I needed to expand on my website development knowledge, coming to the realisation I knew basically nothing and had just followed some basic tutorials to build my previous website. My previous website was built on Wordpress as I had only ever heard "If you want to build a website, Wordpress is the way to go", however I never took the time to understand why it was so good.

Without blabbering on and boring you any more than I'm probably already going to, I started to research "Web Development" and rebuilt my website using Wordpress again. Great job ... not. I was still not happy with it. I'd just put up some posts, and had a basic idea of how Wordpress worked. Although everyone told me Wordpress was easy to learn, and I did find it wasn't too difficult, it never really felt right for me. I experimented with building pages in an offline environment and then pushed everything to the file store of my hosting provider. My site was simple, but took a while to load, and reloaded between all the pages and posts just didn't feel quite right. Back to the drawing board...

After looking at some ways of speeding up my website, being overwhelmed with tonnes of Javascript which I had no idea about how it worked and wht it was really doing, I was ready to give up.

I found a few videos on Youtube which mentioned this weird thing called Gatsby. They all said how it was fast (tick), simple to use (tick), and enabled users to host their sites for free. Wait, what? I never even thought about this before. I just assumed I had to pay for a host to have a site live on the internet! "Okay, I need to learn this" I thought to myself.

I headed over to the Gatsby homepage and took some time to go through the documentation. While I was initially a little overwhelmed (probably because I had no previous knowledge of React), I persisted and looked up any terms or concepts which I had no idea about (most of it)...

Here I am around 2 months later finally able to say thngs are actually clicking into place! While I don't get much time to code each day as I work a full time job, I'm at a stage now where I feel more and more confident each day I do spend time on my website. In the last 2 months, I have built a reasonable foundational understanding of Javascript, React, Gatsby, Sass/SCSS, Terminal, Visual Studio Code, and GitHub. While someone may read this and just think "noob", I am super happy with the progress I have made!

I am going to try to document more about the actual decisions I make, new things I learn, and how I put everything together. I figure I found it useful to read other people's articles, why not write my own covering the issues I found along the way...