Having transitioned my personal site to the Hexo website engine, it was high time to do the same for FunnelCloud, my web development consultancy. I’d been rolling with a semi-custom Wordpress theme for a while now but was never really happy with it. It was time for a welcome change.

For now the site just needed to be a single-pager. Anything else was overkill, so that was another good reason to move off Wordpress. The narrow scope for the project afforded me the chance to work in a few fancier CSS animations and solidify my understanding of how they work under the hood. For a fun touch I also leveraged CSS’s pseudo-elements to create cool shapes.

One hurdle: static engines like Hexo, by defition, don’t provide a database component and that can make adding common website functionality like a Contact form a little harder. I couldn’t find a Hexo plugin to just drop in, but a little googling pointed me at Formspree. A little configuration and a fair chunk of custom JQuery later, I was pleased with the slick contact form experience I was able to create. You can see it in action on the FunnelCloud site. Formspree makes a really nice little service, and the best part is that it’s completely free when you have less than 1000 contact form fills a month.

Overall a fun little project with some good learnings!

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Hi! I’ve had good intentions to revamp my personal website for seemingly forever. Today I’ve finally given my own little corner of the interwebs a fresh coat of paint, knocked down a wall or two, and added some new HardiePlank® siding. (My wife and I are currently on a Fixer Upper tv show kick, so pardon the home renovation metaphors - they’re flowing freely at the moment.)

Wordpress was heavier than I wanted for a simple bio & blog site like this, so this was the perfectly motivation to learn about static site frameworks. Popularized by Jekyll, static sites are all the rage among the developer ilk these days and it was time to join the party. Now that I’ve switched over full-time to a Javascript career path, something Node-based seemed right. I settled on Hexo.

So far, so good.

I’m using the excellent Tranquilpeak theme with a few modifications, although I may roll my own theme at some point. Getting started has been pretty smooth.

Although Github Pages are, understandably, extremely popular for hosting these kinds of static setups, I’ve been a heavy user of BitBucket for a while now. They too offer static site hosting, and Aerobatic offers some sweet upgrades to the hosting, with a free plan to boot. So that’s the direction I’m taking for now. The road less traveled and all that. UPDATE: Turns out that Aerobatic’s free plan offers hosting for two websites, but only provides custom domain support for one of them. That’s a bummer because I really needed two custom domains. While Aerobatic offers a great service, I’m comfortable enough with hosting the sites in questions on my public GitHub repo so I rolled with GitHub pages after all.

I’ll be blogging here occasionally when it strikes my fancy. Usually something code-related since I’m frequently wrestling through some kind of coding issue, feverishly hunting for just the right StackOverflow thread to unlock my quandry. I’ll try and pass on what I learn to my fellow travelers. If I blog about something non-coding, it’ll probably be about parenting (we have an awesome little 9-month old), faith topics, home renovations, or Seattle pro sports, of which I am a long-time rabid fan. Oh, did I mention we’re living in Seattle these days? It’s great.

Hope to see you around.

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Ryan Heathers

I’m an engineer by personality, businessman by education, and technical marketer by training. The result? A strategic-minded, business-savvy full-stack web developer.

Web developer

Seattle, WA