Meta Letter 07 – Cool Kids Go Static

Hi there,

Welcome back to this, the last ☕ Craving Coffee of 2020, and what a year it’s been! In this final update of the year, I want to give you a quick update about what I’ve been up to during the last month, go over some of my favourite post from 2020 and finally we will end with the blog of the month.

Ok, enough waffle, let’s get on with the post shall we? Go get yourself a coffee, I’ll wait…

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🤷‍♂️ What I’ve been up to

The last month has been absolutely crazy in work. I work in cyber security, and if you hadn’t heard, SolarWinds have been completely and utterly pwned – which has kept pretty much every person working in InfoSec very, very busy.

Between pulling some long days at the office, my wife and I have also been busy getting everything ready for our first Christmas with the boys (if you’re a new subscriber, this post should fill in the blanks).

Somehow I also managed to completely redesign my site and migrate from WordPress to Jekyll. I’ve been somewhat of a Static Site Generator (SSG) naysayer in the past, but I have to say after spending a decent amount of time using Jekyll, I’m a complete convert. I’m particularly enjoying the new writing workflow that comes with using Jekyll instead of WP.

Feel free to have a little peruse of the new site – if you have any feedback, just hit the reply button on this email.

So yeah, that’s pretty much my month – lots of work, lots of tinsel and nowhere near enough ☕ coffee! Pretty boring really…

📅 A look back at 2020

I put a lot of work into my blog. Between the MANY redesigns (part of the reason for moving to Jekyll is an attempt to stop me pissing about with my site’s design too much), writing content and managing this newsletter, it’s a tonne of work.

But I love doing it. So here are some of what I think are my best posts from 2020:

  • Making a website series – I’m really proud of this series of posts. The series basically tells you how to hand-code a good looking website from scratch. I’m going to be re-visiting this series over the next few months to improve some things I felt I could have done better. If you like, you can visit my dedicated site to this series.
  • The case for WordPress – A lot of people give WordPress a hard time. Claiming it’s insecure, slow and hard to maintain. This posts debunks those myths. WP is a great piece of software and even though I’ve stopped using it, I still very much believe this. As a bonus, the creator of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, sent me an email thanking me for this post, which obviously made my day. ?
  • Is dark mode good for your eyes? – I used to use dark mode on everything I possibly could, but I noticed I was getting headaches. So I did lots of research into whether dark mode is just a fad, or if it’s actually better for you, like many people think. This post is the result of that research.
  • What’s in a font? Researching website typography – This is another post that took a lot of research to create and I’m really proud of. Typography is so much more than simply choosing a font.
  • How does Mastodon work – I’m a member of the Mastodon network on my own instance, Fosstodon. New users kept asking how Mastodon actually works, so I wrote this in-depth guide. It’s actually one of the most popular posts on my entire blog.

📝 Blog of the month – Ugly Duck 🦆

I recently discovered Ugly Duck, which is the personal blog of a gentleman named Bradley Taunt.

When I discover a new blog, I like to flick through the posts to see if it’s the kind of thing I will enjoy reading. However, reading every post in a blog is a very rare thing for me indeed. I did that with Ugly Duck.

Bradley focuses mostly on web design and optimisation in his posts, being a web designer by trade, I’d expect nothing less! However, his posts are extremely well written and clearly come from a place of passion and knowledge on Bradley’s part.

If you’re into web design, website optimisation, privacy and open source software, there’s likely something for you on Ugly Duck.

https://uglyduck.ca/articles/

🎁 That’s a wrap!

That’s it folks. That’s the end of ☕ Craving Coffee for 2020. As usual, if you have anything to say about this post, or anything linked within, feel free to hit the reply button and we can have a chat about it.

Until then, the only thing left for me to say is thank you so much for your support throughout 2020. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas 🎄 and a happy new year.

See you in 2021!