Tanay Karnik
393 words
2 minutes
Rewriting my site in Astro
Jun 17, 2024

Choosing Astro#

I have come a long way with Static Site Generators.

Starting with Jekyll, then Hugo, then Gatsby, then Hugo again, and now, finally, Astro.

Astro is the first SSG that I truly fell in love with.

I really liked Gatsby for a while too, but it soon felt over-engineered and unnecessarily complicated. That’s why I switched back to Hugo. I even tried Wordpress for a while after Gatsby, hoping to keep things really simple. Of course, that didn’t last long.

Wordpress has a nice block editor and collection of themes and plugins, but that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t come with the flexibility and customizability of a powerful SSG.

SSG like Astro.

Astro is amazingly simple (compared to Gatsby) yet versatile enough to add complexity when needed. If you are a JavaScript developer, no matter what frontend framework you prefer (React, Vue, SolidJS), you’ll feel right at home.

The Rewrite#

I recently quit my job—I’ll write a separate post about this soon—to pursue side projects and content creation full-time.

So I thought it would be a good idea to relaunch and rebrand my website as a way to kickstart my new journey. I decided to spend a day and fully rewrite it in Astro.

And here’s the result! I think it turned out pretty fine.

I picked a starter theme (check it out!) that served as a good base for what I had in mind. I didn’t want to waste time writing boilerplate code for basic features like tags and categories.

This starter theme also came with a nice-looking timeline for my writing, which caught my eye. The timeline doesn’t look as good on mobiles though, but I’ll come back to that later. For now, it looks great on desktops and that’s enough for me.

I made lots of tweaks and adjusted the styling to create something that resonates with me. I wanted a design that was more minimal and cleaner than the original.

I stripped out features I didn’t need, like search and the light/dark mode switch—minimalism remember? I might add a light mode later, but for now we are stuck in darkness.

I also worked on a way to add external links to the timeline so I can include my posts from X and Substack, organizing all my writing in one place.

This isn’t perfect by any means, but it serves the purpose. I’m pleased with what I managed in just a few hours of work.