BlueSky website

BlueSky website | Rizal Farok

5 years ago, today, the BlueSky website went live. but honestly, while it's one of my favourite implementations ever, i won't call it one of my best work.

aside from the copywriting and graphics, i did all the design and implementation. with already 15 years building websites professionally under my belt, it was just another website where i was on autopilot - plenty of coding muscle memory. so it took me less than 2 weeks to finish implementing the whole site .. in between working on client sites/systems.

design wise, i did my research and went with the clean and simple look, plenty of whitespace, easy to read, allowing content to be the hero, and nothing complicated. and over the years since, to hear clients say they contacted us because of the website .. justified my design decisions.

implementation was very easy. we used our own CMS, the same CMS we use for all client websites we did, which runs off PHP and TWIG. so pages like Services, i ran our standard Pages module. Work, i ran the Directory module. Thoughts, the obvious Blog module. and the Team page, well we also already had a Staff module.

the only thing i decided not to use was the Form module. i wanted it to be pretty specific .. so we built a simple custom form for this website instead.

the featured images for each page though (the hero images) - for whatever reason, i decided on SVGs. but at that time, our Files/Media module couldn't take SVGs yet. so i had unnecessary multiple lines of conditional statements to display it, instead of just one line pulling out our usual featured image variable - hence i said it's not my best work.

also, it was only the second site that i decided to use a CSS framework/library. i've always used my own, which had no documentation. but since i was about to hire more frontend devs to reduce my load, i decided on Fomantic UI due to its documentation.

then there's SEO. i've always believed in my own clean optimised coding, and the technical SEO aspect of it. so i wasn't worried at all. i mean, before settling on BlueSky as our name, i surveyed Google results, and decided it was an easy challenge to rank our BlueSky, even though there was already plenty of other Bluesky's out there. and true enough, about 3 months later, we were already ranking pretty well.

and one final thing. an unintended result of this website was .... attracting new talent. most of them told me, after being with the team for awhile, that one of the biggest reason they contacted or joined us was the website. it was the clean structured codes, the speed, the simplicity - it made them feel like they were going to be joining a pretty good team. and that strengthen even more, my believe in the "5 cent 10 cent matters" philosophy.

so yeah. 5 years ago. here's the earliest entry on Wayback Machine if you're interested, dated 20th Jan 2019, at 10:34:55

#flashback #BlueSky #devtools