I’ve kept a personal site since 2000, when I discovered Angelfire and taught myself HTML and CSS. My website was a creative outlet for me throughout high school, and for awhile I was even putting up a new site design every few weeks (truly cannot even imagine doing that nowadays). I’ve saved nearly every version of my site, and decided to put up a small archive of past layouts for your viewing pleasure.
Today we launched a huge redesign of Etsy’s seller tools that was the culmination of over a year’s worth of work (more on this later). I contributed to a post on Code as Craft, Etsy’s engineering blog, on some of the interesting technical challenges we faced and what happens when you have a blank canvas with which to work.
Part of Etsy culture is blameless post-mortems. It’s a term I’ve heard used a lot and up until last week I thought I thoroughly understood. Etsy supports an environment of learning, people make mistakes, don’t point fingers, etc. All good things and things I believe in.
For the past three weeks, I’ve worked with my best friend and fellow designer Erin Nolan on rebuilding her website to be fresh, flexible, and easily updatable. Her last site ran on Wordpress, and while it made sense for her to use a CMS to manage her site, Wordpress wasn’t cutting it. After redoing my own site with Siteleaf and having a really good experience, we decided to give it a go.
The last time I redid my website was almost exactly two years ago. I was ready to leave my job and needed a refreshed portfolio. (Side note: why are so many of us terrible about updating our websites unless we’re looking for a job?) It had been a bit of time since I built a website from start to finish (designers at that company weren’t allowed to touch code), and I spent a three-day weekend proudly handcoding my brand new site. It was a completely static site with no templating and probably some terribly-written CSS, but it worked.