Abridged version for people in a hurry: a few hours ago I pushed live version 2 of Minimalism Life. It's a site about minimalism. I bet you didn't see that coming. I designed 5% of the site, credits for the other 95% goes to Carl. It runs on Kirby 3, site is set in TT Commons. That's it. Go check the site and have a nice day.
You still here? That's very kind of you. I assume you want to know a bit more about the site so let me tell you about it.
I can't stand WordPress anymore
Version 1 was running on WordPress. Just to be clear, I wasn't involved with the project at the time. Can't remember why though. My friend Ale designed the identity for the project and I have this vague memory of being asked to work on the site. I could be wrong though. Anyway, it ran on top of WP for 2 years and it wasn't exactly pretty.
The site was slow and the code was a mess. So when Carl asked me to work on the V2, ditching WP was an obvious choice. Coincidentally, Kirby 3 was about to come out so the timing was almost perfect.
Working with Kirby is a pleasure compared to the nightmare that is working with WP. Definitely give it a go if you're in the market for a new CMS.
A quick warning
If you're planning to move from WP to Kirby get ready to spend way too much time porting the content from one platform to the other. I spent a couple of not-so-fun hours generating all the kirby content from the xml created by the WP export tools. If I had to do it again I'd probably do this the other way around and use the WP installation to generate all the txt files and folders.
The new site is an interesting experiment. It's a free blog with an optional premium newsletter. It's an interesting model, one that I think could work for this kind of publications. As you probably know I'm not a fan of ads and I also think it's worth paying for the content you consume. Investing money forces you to be a bit more mindful about your time. If you pay for a newsletter you'll probably read it and not let it rot in your inbox folder.
As for the design, going minimal was an obvious choice. The site uses just 1 font, TT Commons and the color scheme is pretty much just black and white with the occasional grey detail. There's no need to overthink these kind of websites. The goal was not to design something super original and push the boundaries of blog design but rather to create a quiet and enjoyable reading experience. The readers are there for the content after all.
A few tech notes
As I mentioned already, the site runs on Kirby 3. It's a custom build with a custom design. I used the Markdown Field to improve the writing experience inside the admin and the Kirby 3 Feed to generate the RSS and JSON feeds for the site. The site is pretty much just HTML and CSS with just the bare minimum JS (mainly to improve the loading experience in the Journal archive). There's nothing particularly fancy going on but if you have questions feel free to send me an email.
And that's it. I'm glad the site is live. It's always nice to ship a website. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, something I definitely need these days. Feedbacks are always appreciated.