Alan Hay - Experienced Front End Developer and Designer - Based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Freelance when available.

28 Aug 13

Here it is…

So I just sent this live. I’ve been pondering about the new version of my site for the last year or so, and finally got some spare time to set this up.

This part of the site is going to be used to talk about front end and web design, but also will feature snippets of code that will be sort of a reminder for myself. Sort of like my own version of Evernote but not half as good, and with less features. (So nothing like Evernote actually, but you get my jist.)

This site is a work in progress and I’ll be changing and optimising it, I’ll go through how I optimise here and explain techniques to make your site faster.


Redesigning my site gave me the chance to have more of a play with my new favourite app, called Mixture App, having used it for one of my freelance jobs earlier in the year.

Mixture is a static site builder which uses Liquid as its default template language, but also supports straight HTML and HAML. So no more copying and pasting chunks of HTML across multiple template files when for instance you need to add a new nav item. It also optimises your assets for you, crunching images and minifying css and concatenating scripts. Of course there are other tools that do this for you, such as Middleman App and Jekyll, which are free and I’ve used both. The advantage I think Mixture app has over the others is its minimal setup time and option to choose instantly which framework you wish to work in, and also preprocessing your Sass, LESS, Stylus, CoffeeScript is at the heart of all this as default. This ease of use and speed enables you to quickly mockup prototypes and front ends and instantly deploy via FTP or GIT hub pages. It also has a simple mode that can be used to watch any project you are currently working on. For example a wordpress site. You just point it to your project and follow the instructions on screen with minimal fuss. Testing is a breeze too, as the built in server can be accessed on any device on your local network, and any changes to your code are instantly updated on any connected device.

If you are a front end developer and are reading this then I can’t recommend this highly enough. Anyway thats me done for now. Check back soon for more entries.