Notes from this week 5

Web starter kits

I have been looking into various starter projects that allow me to quickly get web projects up that meet different development needs.

Wishlist for starters

  • SASS + PostCSS (CSS auto-prefixer, minifier, inliner, etc.)
  • Browsersync and easy to use local development builds
  • Minimal frameworks and extra functions. Let me install the libraries I want to use rather than defaulting to Bootstrap and having default markup
  • Easy to use build commands for getting production-ready assets that are minified and bundled


  • CMS website - Working with non-technical people or large teams that need to edit content, there will always be a need for a CMS. Currently my go-to is WordPress and roots-sage starter development theme. Roots also can be paired with Trellis for server provisioning and deployment. I would like to learn and expirment more with GatsbyJS and implementing it with WordPress.
  • Static site generator - This site currently uses 11ty with Netlifly and I enjoy how simple it is to use. I can write markdown, Nunjucks, liquid or just regular HTML for pages and posts and git push to my GitHub repo and the content is published within a few minutes. This allows me to write quickly but also have full control over the presentation of content. Netlify CMS could also be integrated to make a static site easier to edit. GatsbyJS also looks like it could cover a static site generator need but for right now I like how simple 11ty is.
  • Web App - I don't do a whole lot of web apps right now but I am interested in exploring Ionic. Ionic might not fit into my 'minimal' starter requirements but it seems to be a great way to get an app quickly going.
  • Plain HTML starter - There is always a need to make a plain HTML page either for Pardot landing pages or to quickly prototype an idea. I'm currently playing around with /erickzhao/static-html-webpack-boilerplate.

Lazy blocks for WordPress

I have been experimenting with WordPress Gutenberg blocks and found Lazyblocks plugin. It's a nice way to quickly setup custom blocks while focusing more on the front-end code. One example I used it for was to setup a Foundation tabs section in the middle of a page. I plan on learning the proper way to add custom blocks but I found that this plugin was easy to get going in very limited time.

The great hack

A new Netflix documentary about how Facebook and data were used in the 2016 USA elections.

Classic house tracks

I enjoy listening to electronic music while working especially progressive house. This Vox mini-documentary explains some of the details of how disco music turned into house and techno.

Coding & cycling music

This week I've been listening to Power Hour on Spotify for work as well as my morning cycling trips.

Let me know what you think on twitter @rdallaire

← Return to blog