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Nano— My First Jekyll Theme

Updated: .

Truth be told, if you don't have a website these days, you're behind. I've never been a particular fan of website drag-and-drop sites because of their cookie cutter designs and bloated code. When I bought my domain name, it was only fitting that I'd develop the best experience for both:

Originally hosted on GitHub Pages, I knew about Jekyll and decided several times in December 2019 whether I would use it. It was brand new to me. I never learned Ruby, or at least I retained nothing from my reading back in elementary school. I was still a bit new to how to even do basic web optimizations and, worst of all, I was pretty bad at designing.

However, fast forward two months and I'm thinking about it once more. I had improved dramatically by going ham on design challenge generators to a level that I considered at the time to be pretty bang-on (even now I've got a lot to learn about tools like Figma). But, it was official: I'd build the new version of my portfolio using Jekyll. Thus, the birth of Nano.

If I still had original concept art, I would've posted it here, but it was far from what Nano turned out to be. But, if you ask me, that was for the better. The Nano that was available at v0.1.0 and the Nano now at v0.5.2 aren't all too different in looks, and still both run at shockingly fast speeds for a site loaded up with syntax highlighting, automatic theme responses, and, overall, a modern look.

That's not to say that any of this came without troubles. As aforementioned, Jekyll's documentation is the equivalent of knowing the basics of a language like Japanese and someone explained it to you, but very quickly and with slang that you didn't even know existed. It's very hard to understand. Several people, including myself, have said at some point rewriting the documentation to a good level should be done. But, like those others, I've moved to a platform that makes it no longer viable. And, just like those old Jekyll themes, Nano is slowly rotting away.

That's not to say either that it had a bad run either. With almost 4500 downloads at the time of writing, this theme skyrocketed in popularity since day zero; achieving hundreds of downloads the same day as updates and achieving its current number rapidly through development. I received lots of feedback on the theme through platforms such as Twitter and Instagram PMs, and used them to improve the theme massively.

Will there ever be another Nano? Right now, I'm not sure. I do know that, as of September 2021, Nano is deprecated. But.. it would be nice. After all, who doesn't want a website?

Update: apparently it's up to 15'600ish now. That's crazy. (2022-07-24)

Update 2: almost 17'000 now. It's like deciding to comment on the figure made it go up for some reason. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (2022-08-31)