Linux, Open Source & Unrelated Topics by Paul Barker

Website Refresh

Tags: meta

Today I've deployed the new design for this website, built using Pelican and Tailwind CSS.

A Brown Pelican in flight against a background of grey clouds.

Photo of a Brown Pelican in flight by Pamela Marie on Pexels.

Pelican isn't new here, I've been using it for several years now and I've been very happy with it. It's easy for me to work with as I'm familiar with Python and with Jinja2 templating. I did briefly experiment with Zola, but in the end I came back to Pelican and I don't think I'll be switching away from it any time soon.

Tailwind CSS, on the other hand, is new here. Previously I was using Bootstrap, that worked pretty well but I ran into some limitations with it. I wanted more flexibility in how I could design this site, and I wanted to fix some mistakes I'd made in the previous design. I could probably have stayed with Bootstrap and achieved the design improvements that I wanted, but once I started looking into Tailwind CSS it became obvious that it was going to be much easier for me to work with.

The new site design includes a much better looking dark mode, which is now automatically selected based on your browser/system settings. I'm using the Typography plugin for Tailwind CSS, which provides a clean text style for the site. The top navigation bar no longer floats at the top of the screen as you scroll down, improving readibility on small screens. I've also simplified the front-page layout, so all pages on the site now share a single column layout.

After these changes, I'm really pleased with the new design but I still have some minor tweaks planned for the future.

For now, I'm still using Iconify to provide the OpenMoji icons and other icons used on this site. Using iconify has kept things simple for me, but it seems to be slowing down page loads for the site. So at some point I'll get around to removing Iconify, and I'll instead self-host the icons that I'm using.

I also plan to improve the way my photography is hosted and displayed on this site. That's a story for another day however...

So, I hope you enjoy the new design of my website! If you have any feedback, you can reach out to me on Mastodon or drop me an email.