As my second year of graduate school approaches, I have decided to launch a personal website. I am including this blog as an opportunity to develop my writing skills outside of academic journals and conference proceedings. I will use this space to discuss recent publications, offer tutorials for useful scripts I have written, and discuss compelling topics in science and programming.
I built most of this website in about a week. I purchased the domain name through Google Domains. Benjack.io is hosted on Github pages and powered by Jekyll and the Liquid template engine. Jekyll is a simple, light-weight blogging platform that offers complete control over the design and layout of a website. I highly recommend it. The Liquid template engine allows me to write blog posts such as this one in markdown text files, and to mix and match markdown and HTML as needed. The only challenging part of setting up this website was pointing the domain name to the Github repo. I found this helpful blog post for using a custom domain name with Github pages. All source code for this website is publicly available on the Github repo.
In constructing the design of Benjack.io, I wanted a minimalist website that performed well both on mobile and on a desktop. I wrote all of the HTML and CSS in TextWrangler for OS X, with some help from the Google Developers’ resources on multi-device layouts in website design. The header image was generated with MacPymol from the structure of phosphomannose isomerase (PDB ID: 1PMI). The header typeface is “Raleway”, courtesy of Google Fonts. All sections of Benjack.io should be readable and functional on smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs, and everything in between.