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adventures in building my personal website

I’ll be using this blog post to keep track of what I’ve learned while making this website.

Jekyll specific issues

I used Jekyll to make this website. I had been toying with the idea of making my website a full-stack web application, but ultimately one of my friends convinced me to use Jekyll.

Reasons I decided to use Jekyll:

Overall, I am really glad my friend told me to use Jekyll. Definitely made the process of making my website smooth and I got to learn something new!


I pushed this to a project repository instead of using the user repository that GitHub provides. This caused a lot of issues in terms of figuring out paths. Ultimately, I had issues because my project URL had an extra layer in the directory while my local server did not. In order to deal with this, I had to prepend my project repository name to my paths so that when I viewed my site on GitHub pages, the paths would be correct. Then, when viewing it locally, I would have to run bundle exec jekyll serve --baseurl '' so that I would not have to prepend anything when viewing locally. Learned this by viewing this post.

However, when I bought my domain, I no longer had to prepend anything. So, this ended up just being an issue while I hadn’t launched my website.

I also used collections to make subroutes to generate separate webpages for my portfolio projects and this caused some issues. I wanted to highlight the active tab, and I first did this by using the keyword Liquid provides contains so that any subroute would also keep the active tab highlighted. For example, all my portfolio projects have separate pages and the links will show /portfolio before their own specific link. To make sure the tab was still highlighted as active, I made it so that any URL that contained a matching word in my navigation would also keep the tab highlighted. But, this caused an issue in terms of highlighting the home tab. Because home is represented with /, it would always remain highlighted. I just had to figure out the logic to make sure home wasn’t constantly highlighted.

Responsive Design


I learned Sass. This definitely made styling so much easier. Why didn’t I learn this earlier?


I first heard about p5JS from my roommate, because she is a Design | Media Arts major and this was a JavaScript library designed specifically for artists. I used p5JS for my landing page and loved the effect it achieved. It was easy to learn and definitely great for visual representations.

I found out that p5JS does not automatically resize the canvas, so had to look up how to do this.

I had issues when I was linking in the libraries. The landing page worked on my local server but not when I published it online. This was because I used a CDN that used http instead of manually including the files, so I had to change it to https because GitHub uses https.


I used Isotope for my portfolio grid.

I had initally set a specific width and height to make my grid elements squares. But this caused some issues in formatting the grid and making it responsive. Using relative widths now.

Then, I had an issue where sometimes the grid elements would overlap. This was because the grid sizes would be calculated before images loaded, giving the wrong dimension size. I just made sure images loaded before the grid elements loaded.

Using a DNS

First time buying a domain!

Before, I had used UCLA’s online hosting service and had a domain with It was nice to learn how to do this myself. I purchased a domain name via Namecheap and easily found resources to get my website up and running!

In adding a CNAME record for Namecheap, I had first put in the project URL for the repository holding my website instead of using my own user URL. I figured out that you only need to use your user URL instead of the specific project URL because GitHub will automatically find the CNAME for a user.

When I launched, I kept having issues where if you tried to visit the link, it would sometimes give an error of too many redirects. This was because in my CNAME for GitHub, I just put instead of but on Namecheap I put www for my redirect. After changing my CNAME to the error went away.


Thanks to Bryan for helping me with Jekyll and general website issues.

Thanks to Andrew and Howard for giving me some critiques.

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