Ben Whittaker

Website Revamp using Hexo

I’ve revamped the website again!

Previously I was generating the site using DocPad, but I was starting to have various maintenance issues – most notably, it would fill the console with errors every time I tried to do anything. These errors didn’t stop it from mostly working, but I felt like it was maybe time to try to find a more stable alternative. After experimenting with various static site generators, I settled on Hexo, as it seemed to strike a good balance between performance and customizability.

I also wanted to update the site’s theme, and basically ended up recreating it from scratch. I used Pug for succinct HTML templating with dynamic whitespace, and Stylus for succinct CSS preprocessing with dynamic whitespace. (I also ended up doing a bunch of hacking around in CoffeeScript, which is basically JavaScript with dynamic whitespace. I like dynamic whitespace.) My goals were to make a responsive, mobile-first design that can display all the site’s content elegantly on any platform, without putting any restrictions on the dimensions of the web games hosted here, like Junglautomata. I also added some nice touches to the games section of the site, including the ability to filter games by programming language and other properties, a different site color scheme for each game, and improved screenshot galleries using PhotoSwipe.

Lastly, of course, I went over the site’s content, making slight changes to keep things up-to-date, making sure every game has screenshots, and finally uploading the game jam version of Empty Spaces.

I’m hoping that this version of the site will last me for a while, but I’m sure I won’t be able to resist tweaking things in the mean time.