FYI: I’m in the process of bringing my blog “in-house” at my root domain. I still haven’t finished setting things up there, but even once I have I see myself staying very active in the Micro.blog community ☺️ It’s a great thing about MB – you can host wherever you like, but by adding your RSS feed to your MB account you can participate on the site as an equal citizen.

If you want to read more about my reasoning, I’ve posted that on the “new” blog already. Otherwise, the experience of anyone following me on Micro.blog should remain pretty much exactly the same? But I have a lot of work yet to do to bring my “new” blog up to scratch. So, bear with me as I get things up and running! 🚧🔨🏗

Improving load times by fixing my images

As I mentioned in my post about Gemini, mine is a lightweight website for the most part; it’s built with a static site generator, I don’t use any heavy Javascript includes, and there are certainly no ads or trackers. The main exception I mentioned then was images: these were, by far, the major thing blowing out the filesizes (and loading times) of my pages and I knew there were improvements I could make to how I dealt with them.

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It’s actually ridiculous how much time I’ve put into this, but after posting the other day about wanting to track my reading on my own site better, I’ve started making some of the changes. In particular, I now have a reading “portal” which shows what I’m currently reading, and links to other content; and I have a “to read” list which got surprisingly massive as I added all my different silo “to read” lists together (from Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.) 🤯 And I’ve also imported another big batch of reviews from my Goodreads! Bit by bit I’ll get this done.

My custom layout is live! Click through to my blog’s front page if you’d like to see. Converting the theme from my static site wasn’t that hard, but trying to perfect my microformats2 use was another thing entirely 😂 Regardless, very pleased now with how it’s turned out.

Having worked hard over the past 24 hours, I can now link you to my static personal website! ☺️ As of right now the site only consists of two pages, and as I need more complicated formatting I’ll have to add to the stylesheet, but I’m pretty happy with it so far, especially with the responsive design (and now I understand why single-column layouts have skyrocketed in popularity). If I can adapt the theme to work with Micro.blog, that might be nice too – make the two halves of my online presence feel like a unified whole. Either way, this feels like a satisfying step forward.

After two and a half weeks running my own blog at this subdomain, I feel energised to start making a static site to go alongside it at the root domain ☺️ At first I was looking into Hugo, but the learning curve seems a little high and I feel like it might be overkill for what I want. So instead, I’ve installed MAMP to my laptop so I can work on a basic static site locally (with PHP includes for page layouts, as I used to do back in the day) and upload it once it reaches a satisfactory point.

For me, there are a lot of advantages to a static site: it should be a lot lighter and more performant than having a whole CMS for just a personal site; it allows me a lot more flexibility and precision for each page (because while I know CMS templates can technically do that, I’m just better with HTML/CSS/very basic PHP); and perhaps most importantly, if life gets too busy and I don’t have the time to actively work on the site for a while, nothing should break on me 😂 When I had blogs in the past, I often had problems with spam or software updates breaking my themes if I had to leave them unattended, and considering it was just a hobby that did sometimes happen… I’m a big fan of solutions that mean I no longer need to worry about this!

Hello world!

Greetings! My name’s Jessica, and I’m a twenty-something leftie from Melbourne. A couple of days ago, I re-stumbled upon the concept of the IndieWeb, but this time something about it struck enough of a chord with me to really investigate, and as you can tell, here I am now. For a long time, I’ve been yearning for the days of personal websites and blogs. This is something I dabbled in a lot during high school and even into undergraduate uni, but as most of my contemporaries gradually migrated to the new social media sites springing up, so did I.

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photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society. See her homepage here.