The benparsell.com Rebuild - An Overview

Cover Image for The benparsell.com Rebuild - An Overview
Ben Parsell
Ben Parsell

In Need of a Refresh

Running through 2021 and continuing to learn about GraphQL, Next.js, and Vercel, it dawned on me that the perfect medium to test out this new stack could be the dusty benparsell.com website. My prior build was built on October CMS, a Laravel-based CMS that I had found plenty of flexibility through early on in my web development journey. However, since October CMS had gone away from the free licensing model, my website had been sporting a cool error message.

Overall, it was time to bring a new stack to light — one that would be far more representative of (now) 2022.

Stack of Choice

In order to create a highly-flexible, yet manageable and fast technical stack, I turned to the primary driver of content for this site, Contentful. Using their GraphQL API, I paired custom content models with Next.js to deliver incredible speed and agility and on the frontend. With Next.js being managed by Vercel, it was obvious to just easily host the frontend on Vercel. Doing so allows me to quickly make edits directly through my Github repo, as well as preview and edits through branch strategies and have those dynamically deployed via unique Vercel URLs.



I wanted to keep the current design and overall color scheme, but decided to introduce a dark theme for the rebuild. I may consider adding a toggle to the site as a whole to switch between light and dark themes, though the dark theme paired with the green primary brand color does a tremendous job in keep a clean and consistent look throughout the site.

Blog and Further Content

Under /blog you'll start seeing a few posts being pushed out on a regular basis, like this one. I hope to expand on the UX of my blog and start to even push out some content around hobbies and adventures I'm working through, like coffee, cooking, technology, cycling, reading, or anything else. My expectation is to utilize the flexibility of this new stack to continue building out a personal brand, and ideally move away from the need to utilize LinkedIn's blogging platform, where my own website also allows for non-business focused content.

To Conclude

Thanks for taking the time to read through this. If you happen to poke through the site, know that there are 100% likely bugs to be encountered because I'd far rather just get this published than polish it to a beautiful state. The idea is to continue to test it over the next few weeks and work through any issues I encounter as I push out any new blog posts / features. If you happen to find any while peaking around, don't hesitate to shoot me a message — I'd always appreciate to hear from you 🙂

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