Website 2021

Website 2021

TCJ Lighting’s new website is elegant, browsable, and most importantly.. FAST.

The goal of this redesign was threefold:

  • Website speed
  • Broaden the kinds of content I can publish
  • Easier editing & maintenance

Website Speed

WordPress is great for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But it’s not great for anyone because it’s fast, it is painfully slow, especially when you start installing addons. My old website used WordPress and it scored 18/100 on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

The new website is built with Jekyll, a static website generator. What that means is that rather than dynamically generating each page when someone requests it, all of the content is pre-compiled down to raw HTML, CSS, and JS ahead of time. I still get to use expressive rendering, markdown, templates, SCSS, whatever I want - when I’m done editing it gets built down to the things your browser actually needs. Now all my webserver has to do is send you files, it doesn’t have to compute the files and then also send them at every request. This will be significantly faster than WordPress making a thousand database queries and trying to figure out where anything is supposed to be on the page every single time someone wants to see it.

It also lets me do complicated things in the build chain like minifying, image-resizing, bundling, offline service workers, and all sorts of nerd stuff. Point is website go fast.

I’ve also increased the perceived responsiveness by using slick animations and a single-page approach. Turns out humans are easy to fool, it just has to feel fast.

Broaden the Kinds of Content I can Publish

Code Blocks

Sometimes I write stuff about code, it’s helpful to be able to have code blocks and language-specific syntax highlighting. Now I can - check out my post on TiddlyWiki & Git to see it in action.

if (interested === true) {
  // of course they're interested, TODO change to `if (true)`
  document.location.href =

Easier Editing & Maintenance

Everything is configured via markdown files now. No more fight WordPress admin pages, I can just edit it with any text editor offline, and push it to my git repo, where it gets automatically built and published.

This also allows me to write some custom code in the future, that will for example count how many productions I’ve been the programmer for, and display that total somewhere.

Additionally, I am insulated from proprietary infrastructure. My previous site was hosted on a cPanel instance from Namecheap, and it was impossible to move and rather expensive. since Jekyll builds static HTML, literally any webserver can host it, including some low or no cost solutions. So now my web hosting is actually free, but also has much better performance with a global CDN.

If you think the new design is cool, give it a clap below.