TL;DR I grabbed ajk.fi. Tweaked the site design. Lots of cool stuff in use, like font icons, Sass and Grunt.js. Continuously deployed. Optimized for speed. I formed a company.
A new domain, new look, new technologies, new sections, and – to top it off – a new company. This post is a few weeks overdue, considering I “shipped” the new ajk.fi a while ago. Nonetheless, welcome to the new ajk.fi! :)
ajk.fi was previously owned by a small finnish company. The weren’t very active anymore, so I kept an eye on the domain and when it expired, I grabbed it.
I had a small scuffle with myself about switching to ajk.fi. This site was previously on ajk.im and it was a cool domain. Short. Isle of Man. Yeah! But here we are. ajk.fi is my new home. I put redirects in place and will be slowly fading ajk.im out altogether.
The new look, same as the old look. The basic design and layout didn’t change all that much. I’ve updated a lot of small stuff here and there, and in my mind, the site feels “fresher”, neater and cleaner now.
I got a subscription to Typekit. I tried to focus on picking some good typography, which would work on all platforms, and went with the popular Proxima Nova as the sole font for the site. Meanwhile, I also purchased a full-blooded license for Proxima Nova Soft, which you can see in use on the front page. I might switch to that someday altogether. Love the softness <3
I also changed all the icons to font icons, and the logo to an SVG (retina goodness!). Pretty standard stuff.
I always enjoy these behind the scenes posts, especially the technology bits. With the new ajk.fi, the backend (WordPress) did not change, but a lot of the front-end stuff did.
Nowadays, I never start a project without Sass and Compass. I’ve made my own little template, which I tend to use to kickstart a project. It’s like HTML5 boilerplate and csswizardry’s inuit.css smashed together and then cleaned up by me.
I made updating WordPress easier; I moved the code from SVN to git and included WordPress as a git submodule. When I need to update, I go to the submodule directory and do
git fetch --tags and
git checkout <version>. I have a web hook set, so when I push to git it’s deployed to my development/staging server. Continuous deployment, woohoo! If everything seems okay, I will push to
master and it’ll go live.
I’ll write a separate post about my “WordPress as a submodule” template. I’ve been using this same technique for all the WordPress projects for a good while. It’s awesome.
The site is now also optimized for speed for the best of my knowledge. I’m leveraging browser caching and implemented some things to bust that cache when needed. I’ll write a post about busting the browser cache, too.
As for backend speed, I’m using the good old W3 Total Cache plugin, which is awesome. When sieging the server, I could not find a point where the site would not respond. My sieging PCs clogged before the server did. Without W3 Total Cache, the max was 60 concurrent users.
I’m very fond of Markdown. I wanted that for my blog. Michel Fortin‘s PHP Markdown did the trick wonderfully! I also tried throwing WP Pygments into the mix for code-coloring, but it wasn’t practical. So, I’m using Prettify, an awesome client-side code coloring tool (I might take a second look at Prism later).
I’ve finally also created a simple section for my photos and projects. Unfortunately, I did not have time to update and re-design my whole portfolio. I only put up a few selected projects. I’m going to fix that some day, but it is not this day.
ajk.fi is now also a company. Well, sort of. They made me change the name, because ajk.fi wasn’t unique enough. It’s now called ajk crafts unlimited. Should be unique enough. ajk Seafaring Company was a solid runner-up! But still! I’ve done freelancing for years, but never had my own company.1 Sending those first invoices was so cool.
So there you go. Welcome to ajk.fi! Send me a tweet telling me what you think :)
I’ve been using a freelancing card or I’ve been on the firm’s payroll. Tricky for the client, easy for me, but yet I felt bad. ↩