Posts tagged: web

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10 April, 2018


Today I saw a question on twitter which I have seen a few times before. It was posed by the rather excellent and lovely Drew McLellan.

What do you think the best use cases are for a static site generator? Drew McLellan

Sledgehammers and nuts

There were some interesting responses, but this cheeky and playful response from the irrepressible Bruce Lawson jumped out at me:

Making static sites Bruce Lawson

Thanks Bruce. Problem solved.

Bruce has a knack of cutting to the chase, and this made me smile. But it nudged at one of my trigger phrases, which Drew’s follow up question then prodded further:

Ok, so when/why would you make a static site? Drew McLellan

Read on...

22 November, 2017

Smashing Magazine moves to a JAM stack architecture

Smashing Magazine, the much beloved and prolific resource for web designers and developers, has relaunched with a new design and new membership model. At the same time, it migrated from a variety of platforms which ran its publishing, comments, e-commerce, user management and more, over to a new technology platform and sets a new benchmark in what can be achieved with what was once thought of a basic, static architecture. And it is now live, for Smashing’s several million monthly visitors, on Netlify. (Also my new home)

Smashing Magazine redesign

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27 March, 2017

Keeping a Jamstack Site Feeling Fresh With Recent Tweets

Having somewhere on your site to show a few of your recent tweets is a common requirement. Twitter provides some easy ways to embed tweets or twitter feeds onto your site via Javascript, but I’m keen to remove external javascript dependencies from my site. It helps the site to render more quickly, and lets me control exactly how it looks.

But for a static site, it would be a pain to need to compile and deploy after every tweet. Luckily, by stitching together some simple tools, this can all happen automagically whenever a new tweet is posted.

Fresh slice

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1 August, 2016

Isomorphic Rendering on the JAMstack

I have been experimenting with something that seemed obvious to me for a while. A web development model which gives a pre-rendered, ready-to-consume, straight-into-the-eyeballs web page at every URL of a site. One which, once loaded then behaves like a client-side, single page app.

The fact that so many frameworks set about this with all manner of complex add-ons and machinery gave me cause to think I was missing something big. So I built a simple proof of concept with a static site generator to see if this model could work. I’m pretty pleased with it. Let me talk you through the approach and show you the result.

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1 February, 2016

Progressive Enhancement Design Smackdown

Seven years ago I picked a fight. It was during my first few months of working at an agency and I was full of pith and vinegar. I was entering a place where building for the open web was not traditionally valued as much as I felt it should be, and so I began making my case and being disruptive.

Feathers were ruffled. Debates were had.

Hawk vs Wall

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5 November, 2014

The Shapes of Web Views

A few nice folks around the web have been sharing visualisations of the most popular viewport sizes appearing in the analytics for their sites. I thought these were beautiful and useful and wanted to make it easier for people to create their own and highlight the need for responsive web design.

The most common viewports used to view this site

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6 January, 2014

Too Funky Didnt Read

The trend for ‘parallax’ or ‘scrolljacking’ web sites has long had me grumbling about their large page weight, slow rendering times and general accessibility black spots, but some are better than others. That got me thinking, do they ever do a good job?

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9 May, 2013

Pathing the Gimmicky Cowpaths

I’ve ranted quite a bit about clumsy and excessive parallax scrolling effects on web sites recently. Following Adobe’s announcement that they are making this kind of effect simple to do via a WYSIWYG authoring tool, I’m bracing for another glut of sites with this effect. Some might be beautiful. Many will not.

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9 September, 2011

Expectations of web development at agencies

Recently I was involved in an very short bit of consultancy for an e-commerce company. We were focussing on the performance of their site in the browser, and they were more than a little surprised at the software engineering rigour that we exhibited given that we are just an agency. Perhaps we’re thought of us web development production lines who churn out web sites. That’s not my view.

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27 July, 2009

Flash v Web. Behind enemy lines

OK, I’m being over dramatic, but sometimes it does feel like I’m on a bit of a stealth mission. Pity that I forgot to bring any stealth! I’ve been working here at The Team for 3 months now and am enjoying myself greatly, but there is an issue that challenges me on a daily basis. That is that we do a lot of Flash work here, and yet I’m a big advocate of using Open Web Technologies.

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