Open Source Tech Stack for My Portfolio and Blog


Thought process

I wanted to create my new portfolio with a stack that I was familiar with, but also didn't want to go too crazy. It's easy to get into the weeds when creating a site for yourself using the new shiny product or creating a complex system. Creating a personal site is a great opportunity to learn new technologies or products, but I didn't want to get too complicated. I kept all of my decisions and work around one major theme: ship fast and keep it simple.

Decisions, decisions

Being a JavaScript engineer familiar with Vue and Nuxt, I chose to use those with some of their newer features, and utility libraries. I also to use the new hotness (well not really that new anymore) Jamstack

Nuxt Content is one of those new features that I went with. With Nuxt Content, I can write my pages and blog posts using markdown, or go a more advanced route and use JSON. In addition, search, sorting and query building are native features of Nuxt Content so adding that to the site is simple.

I paired the ease of creating content with Nuxt Content with new features to Nuxt like full static site generation, component discovery, dynamic routes and crawling. With this setup, I can focus on the content of my site, and how it should look, rather than how it will be built, generated, and how everything works together.

The paint job

Speaking of how things look, I decided to use the fantastic utility-first CSS library Tailwind. Tailwind is great because it takes a lot of the thinking out of the way in terms of writing CSS, and allows me to focus on the design instead of implementation. I even chose to use colors from the default color palette for my site. In the past, I lost way too much time figuring out what I wanted my color scheme to be. I was able to get out of my own way by leaning on Tailwind's palette to pick colors that were pretty much close to the scheme I had in mind already.

Since I was using Tailwind, and wanted to keep a pretty simple design, I chose not to use a component library like Chakra UI or Element. I love using component libraries when creating an app, but I didn't need anything complex for my site. My goals for the site are to present content, and didn't need any complex user interaction or input to accomplish that.

Writing and maintaining the content

This is another area that I have overcomplicated for myself in the past. There are so many new and wonderful products out there like Strapi or the newly announced free-forever tier of Contentful that can be used to write and maintain content. A personal project is a great way to learn some of these new products. However for this, Nuxt Content was perfect for my needs. I don't need a CMS or a complex system to integrate and write content. Keeping with the theme of shipping fast and keeping it simple, Nuxt Content checked all of the boxes for me.

CI and hosting

Deciding on continuous integration and hosting was a no-brain. I already had my repo on GitHub, so I just needed to connect Netlify to that. Netlify provides "The basics for personal projects, hobby sites, or experiments" for free. This includes a lot of advanced features like automated builds, deploying, site previews and hosting.

I'm pretty much using the default setup, with the exception of a custom build command yarn generate, which is simple to setup in Netlify. Every time code gets merged into main, Netlify will automatically build it using my custom command and deploy it to [](

Open source and develop in the open

I started my adventure in writing a new site by looking at various themes for Nuxt, Gridsome, and even Gatsby. I had an idea of what I wanted my site to be, and none of these were satisfying all of those checkboxes. Ultimately, I wanted to create a site that I knew the setup, and to again, keep things simple.

A lot of these themes that I came across were pretty complex, and didn't necessarily use all of the stack I wanted to use. I wanted to create my own site tailored to my needs, but keeping it open enough for others to use. That's why I decided to open source it, and develop it in the open. I hope that it is a valuable resource for engineers looking to do something similar, or that it may be a good starter for others looking for a simple portfolio.

Let me hear it

If you use this repo to make a site of your own, I'd love to see what you did. Even if you have some questions or feedback, let me know on [](Twitter).