About a year ago, I created my first-ever portfolio using React. A library that has almost become synonymous with web dev in recent years. To the amateur web dev me, React was the holy grail of web development. Its flexibility in offering the capability to build effective and interactive SPA’s, coupled with a large community, really assured me of my choice. But there were a few pitfalls with my prior portfolio website.
My previous portfolio website wasn’t bad. These pictures were at the end of its lifecycle. The website was considerably worse when I first started out, but the incremental improvements helped build it into a little more feasible portfolio. It was simple and had all the essentials you would want in a portfolio. The problem was, it was kind of slow… It also had many unnecessary animations including an incredible amount of scrolling animations which probably didn’t help with the speed. I also felt the design was a little lacking – too many things happening at once, and it just didn’t match with the minimalist design I envisioned. And so, I finally decided it was time for a V2.
After better understanding what a portfolio website required and a little guidance from a friend (Thank you Nick), I decided my second portfolio website would be built with Astro. The framework’s speed is seemingly unrivaled, and it proved much simpler to learn than React. The simplicity of the framework, my superior experience in web dev, and being able to reuse certain components from my React app made this website take significantly less time to build. This website is still in progress, so I apologize if the production version is a little lacking. I aim to continue to add more features and support throughout this website’s lifecycle just like I did with my previous website.
I knew the reduction of unnecessary animations on my part as a developer and Astro’s partial hydration and minimalist JS approach would result in a much faster experience. I expected the new site to be faster, but somehow, Astro’s speed still managed to surprise me. I don’t regret creating my first portfolio website. I still think learning React was invaluable and it will serve me when I need a site with more dynamism and need for states, but frankly for a website like this, it’s just not necessary. If you are reading this, I hope you enjoy the faster, sleeker overall experience, at least until V3 comes around ;)