Portfolio site for Bristol-based graphic designer, Becky Fitzgerald. Optimised for speedy loading of pages & images using static site generator Gatsby, populated from Contentful CMS. 🎨
Gotta go fast.
For the build, I opted for the static site generator, Gatsby (which I also use here on my site), as the framework. Pretty much everything I need to build a speedy site focused on imagery is baked in, I just had to integrate, design and build it. God bless Gatsby.
My site design used the blue gradients from Becky's logo, and put a focus on the real star: her imagery. "gatsby-image" was an absolute god-send for this job, making it really easy to get optimised images, lazy-loading and WebP support, with no stress.
Previously, in a situation when I would need a CMS, my go-to would be WordPress; however, that would mean hosting (and paying for!) a WordPress installation to access the data through the RESTful API, and then installing plugins to access required endpoints for custom post types. I wanted to step away from this headache, to use CMSs that are more tailored to being used in a headless way, rather than bodging WordPress to do something it's not built for.
Prismic was an option I started with, but ended up having conflict/versioning issues with various npm packages that populate the data, so looked elsewhere. Contentful was the next best option - it was easy to define the data models, add in the content and hook it up with Gatsby (fully utilising GraphQL).
The site is hosted on Netlify; when the data is updated within Contentful, a new build is triggered on Netlify. It's seamless, and takes under a minute to redeploy the changes.
This project felt very similar to my old job at Vu, where I would really have to scope out what the client requires, make sure the CMS is easy enough for them to use, and how best to tackle the implementation technically. This also feels like a better implementation of the project I did around headless WordPress.
In the past, I would build custom WordPress themes for this sort of job (like Briard & Hutchings), but this feels like the natural progression, the more modern approach to the same solution - headless CMS, static site generator and git-integrated hosting.