Patterson Research Inc.

making IT happen

05 Dec 2013

My First Post!

This is my first post in Soon I will be doing this with ease. And when I save the file and hit a button, my website will be updated automatically.

In the meantime, I'll ramble a bit here about what I am trying to accomplish.

About ten years ago I started working with phpWebSite. It was, and continues to be, a great content management system for building websites. Over time other products like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress won the popularity contests and the "market share" of phpWebSite has dwindled.

So when I started this site, I was going to do it in Wordpress as that is the CMS that I've implemented for most websites over the past couple of years. But then I started reading about static sites. Things like security, performance and ease of use could be improved without losing the ability to update the site any time.

After looking at alternatives for generating static sites I settled on Jekyll. Many people who went through a similar review came to the same conclusion. And one of the significant influences is that Jekyll is used by Github. I have used Git and Github enough to know that I want to use Git as my version control system for project artifacts as much as possible. So I've settled on Jekyll to generate my static site.

At this point I have Jekyll working well enough that I will begin to develop content and the look-and-feel for my site.

Speaking of look-and-feel, I plan to use Zurb Foundation as the basis for the layout. Foundation is a great toolkit for designing sites that adapt and work well on all devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It also has many components that can help structure and display content.

Since I just wrote the book on Getting Started with Zurb Foundation 4, I am familiar with Foundation and I love it. As the book went to press Zurb released Foundation 5, but that's OK. Everything I learned while working with F4 helps me work with F5.

The first component to be implemented is the Accordian. That's what displays the menu. It took some custom CSS to get it working the way I wanted, but that's OK. It is simple and it produces the style of menu that suits me on small and large displays.

Perhaps I'll write more another day about the technology behind the site, but for now I want to finish the layout, get some initial content together, and make it live.