Howard Capon, one of my best friends, is a writer, and a few years ago he started blogging about writing on blogspot. I wanted to help set him up with a fancier blogging experience, and at the time was pretty intrigued by the Ghost platform, so I hacked together a solution that got Ghost to run on Heroku using Postgres. This had some downsides: Ghost didn't want to run in Heroku's ephemeral dynos, Ghost didn't like Postgres, and Ghost templates were a little arcane and thus made it harder for me to just drop in and work on. I started a redesign effort 2 years ago, but then wound up moving to SF and it fell by the wayside. The site worked well enough for a while, but eventually broke from some node module or database auto-upgrade. I felt pretty bad about this and have wanted to fix it up, but things kept getting in the way.
Now, Howard has finished graduate school and is going to have some more time to get back to writing, so I felt like it was time to finally get his site not only back up and running, but brought up to speed tech wise and given a nice new design.
Similar to my personal site, this is another Gatsby-Contentful-Netlify site, meaning I can lean on my React skills to quickly add to and enhance his site without having to re-learn custom layout and design tooling. For styling I'm using Material-UI, a React component library (with great Typescript support!), and it's been pretty fun to build with, though it's not nearly as opionated about high-level constructs as I had initially planned; luckily it comes with a great
withStyles HOC that allows super convenient CSS-in-JS and has resulted in a nice blend of pre-built elements and custom higher-level styling.
I'm loving working with the scifi electric blue theme and am looking forward to building it out even more with him. I just did the surprise relaunch reveal for him (he didn't know it was coming), so now I can start asking him questions about features and functionality.
Check it out over at apheleia.net.