Eoin Thomas O’Hehir

UX Engineer

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Custom Portfolios

Static sites built to feature excellent design work

Here, I’m featuring two different sites I built. One was built for JP Fairchild and one was built for Danny Swan. In both cases, I was given designs and worked closely with each designer to show off their work in the best way possible. They serve the same purpose and are both static sites, but the way each one was built has different advantages.

JP’s Portfolio

This site was built in Ruby on Rails. I had spent a fair amount of time learning the framework at work and learned enough to build and deploy a site to a VPS on my own.

I utilized the templating available in Rails for the common elements like headers and footers, and letting the framework handle building assets was nice to not have to worry about, but the main convenience was in deployment.

Having mostly used FTP to deploy personal sites in my early years, I was exceedingly pleased at Capistrano’s ability to make deployment as easy as a single console command.

Screenshot of JP Fairchild's online portfolio on an iPhone X

Danny’s Portfolio

With this site, I went totally static. No frameworks, no libraries. Command-line tools for deployment were unavailable to me because this site had to be on shared hosting.

Not much JavaScript was needed aside from a scrolling transition on the homepage. So, the bulk of this work was in CSS and HTML. I made sure to follow best practices, like using the best parts from BEM and SMACSS for organizing and writing my styles.

I had no routing controller available to me, so instead, I carefully named folders and placed an index.html file inside of each one. That way, I was still able to control the URLs of each project page.

Screenshot of Danny Swan's online portfolio on an iPhone X

In conclusion

Doing these projects on my own, having complete control over each codebase and knowing exactly what I needed, I was able to be very choosy about the tools I used. These static sites didn’t need much, and why would I want to make their users download an entire JavaScript framework when all they needed was styles and markup? Making these sites taught me the importance of knowing the right tool for the job.

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Custom Portfolios