November 19, 2020
3 min read
I'd wanted a blog for some time now, but I realized that I hadn't gotten a lot of experience building static sites. Ironically, I had built a bunch of apps / PWAs but barely any static sites.
When I bought this domain, the first markup I put up was just HTML ... Okay, it wasn't just HTML, I was using the Angular framework 0 but the good thing about Angular is that it lets you mostly write plain HTML, and that's what I did.
But writing blog posts in HTML felt like a sub-optimal experience. I write a lot 1 and I like to write in markdown. So, I knew it would be nice if I could write my blog posts in Markdown and have the Markdown transpiled to HTML.
I also knew there was a thing called the JAMStack; that prided itself on making it easy to build static sites like blogs written in markdown. But I didn't have any experience with the JAMStack.
So I set out on a journey to learn about the JAMStack and in the process pick up React.
I don't know how long this process lasted but if I had to guess I'd say it lasted for more than a year. I find the React/JS ecosystem complicated, there are just so many libraries at play, and new libraries get popular every month, so I was weary of learning something that would be soon doomed to irrelevance. Plus, I had other things to study in my spare time, this wasn't a priority at all, but it was on my to-do list.
When I first started this journey, Gatsby seemed like the clear solution to my problem. But, as time went on, it became clear that the winds of fortune had blown in favor of NextJS.
A few months ago I purchased yet another course on React & NextJS that promised to get me up and running quickly; building static sites (and other frontends) with as little code as possible by leveraging the latest tools from the React/JS ecosystem.
It was the Mastering NextJS + React2025 course by Lee Robinson 2. The course was a great primer on what the ecosystem had to offer. But the best thing about the course was learning that Lee had open-sourced the code for a couple sites he had built and deployed, using the tools he was instructing on.
I've found that I learn best by; writing, reading, modifying code. So, I hopped on Lee's GitHub profile, cloned the repo for his blog 2 and started; messing around, changing things, seeing how it all glued together. This blog is the product of my changes to Lee's source code.
I'd like to think that I've been ethical in my cannibalization of Lee's code; this site is a lot plainer than his, I did indeed purchase his course, and this is me paying credit where credit is due. Thanks Lee.