Nevertheless, she persisted

I’m trying to join the, a list of websites that are small.

Mission Statement

Many of the blogs I read follow a minimalist approach, where content takes front and center. This approach used to be the default. I want to emulate them. Do my small part in combatting how bloated, privacy-invasive, and ad-driven the internet is now.

I use a theme that by default puts me right on the edge of 512kb per page. I don’t like this. Unfortunately, I have minimal web dev skills (a gaping hole in my resume). Using a static site generator, hugo, has enabled me to focus on writing. Managing the site’s configuration takes a couple workdays a year.

By average website standards, I’m pretty great. My website is 90% useable without js, and is small. I used google lighthouse and to analyze my site. They give high praise with "near perfect scores", and a long list of suggestions.

The Problem Scope

But by the standards I want to hold myself to, I’m doing poorly. Requests to 3rd party resources, features I don’t use, needless js/css. It all should go. Hugo themes are usually not modular, which leads them authors to try to meet many use cases and include lots of features.

My website theme uses :
  • katex: I write my site in asciidoc, which is capable of rendering the math server side/at build time. Also, I barely use math. My website has 2 usages of math expressions, both of which are extremely small.
  • photoswipe: This is for photo galleries and big sweeping title photos. I don’t use this.
  • jquery: This seems excessive when my site mostly works without js. In fact, I want there to be no js. I browse the web without js.
  • google fonts: The externals fonts are my site’s biggest resources.
  • bootstrap: I know nothing about css??
  • fontawesome: Cool icons?? Disabling js results in a small amount of tofu across my site. It appears these icons are used for the links in my footer and in the article overviews on the homepage.


The solution is to change my theme.

I could make my own theme, but that requires html, css, and hugo templating. None of which I want to learn. A custom theme goes a long way to distinguishing myself (in my own eyes, I realize no one gives a shit). I’m jealous of aloso’s theme

I could switch to a more minimal theme. It would be an excellent starting point for modifications, simpler themes are easier to understand.

I could fork an existing theme and remove bloat. A little bit of css never hurt anyone. But I might break something, or figure out how to replace a feature. My existing theme is definitely in this category because it uses bootstrap css.

Ultimately I decided to switch my theme to archie.

#Meta #Hugo #Dev