We just redid our website
It might be okay for a restaurant to have a shitty website, but if you are in the business of building websites, you cannot.
Having a cool looking website is more or less a must for anyone today who expect their potential clients to google them. Think of your own online behaviour when you are looking for basically anything online today, you click open the 5 first results and skim through them and close the ones that don’t impress.
Websites today are the same as first impressions, you only get it once and you better not mess it up.
So, this is why Banban decided to redo our website. Our old one basically sucked, and it even sucked so hard we almost lost a potential client after reviewing it and concluding we suck.
The old site
The old page was just a basic Wordpress page on a LEMP stack running on some AWS EC2 instances, with a load balancer in the front.
Before getting into the nitty gritty details, and big shout out to Netrix who did an amazing job on the designs. You can review their portfolio here https://dribbble.com/netrixdigital
Netrix is our go to agency for all things design, we cannot recommend them too much.
Gatsby is basically a tool that allows you to create blazin fast static sites in React by pulling data in from whatever source. The end result is a static site you can deploy in a S3 bucket or directly on a CDN, such as netlify(which is where this is deployed).
There is no need for EC2 instances or servers, we can deploy serverless with infinite scalability.
To just mention some of the cool features of gatsby, it comes with prefetching built in as a core future. This gives the user a snappy experience as when the user is scrolling page A, the user is already downloading page B.
Contentful is a headless CMS. That its “headless” means it in itself cannot serve your content(there is no frontend). You need to develop the frontend using whatever framework you want, in our case Gatsby which will then render the content managed in Contentful in the frontend.
What makes the idea of headless CMS so powerful is that you can manage your content within one platform, but serve it on a range of different platforms. No need to copy+paste from one platform to another because everything is centrally managed in one system, even if it’s used across a range of platforms.
A headless CMS also to a large extent removes the risk of bad formatting breaking the design because the rendering is defined in Gatsby, not in the CMS. No more having to call your developer to fix the design after you missed a bracket or a comma somewhere in the code.
Netlify is this really cool edge hosting solution we can hook up to your github account. Whenever we push a new commit to github netlify automatically runs a build command on the latest commit, and if there are no errors our static page is deployed on their edge servers.
Most hobby sites can manage on the free account as well(100GB traffic is included), this website for example is running on the free account. Sure a EC2 instance is not that expensive either, but free is always cheaper :)