2 min read

Making a portfolio website

Making my own portfolio/blog website

I made a portfolio website using React, it looks like this:

I wanted to have card-based content (i.e., grids of boxes) and the ability to navigate to different categories of portfolio items, rather than just list all items on the same page. I also wanted it to look fun, and have some kind of animation. You can’t see the animation in the screenshot, but I made the folders spin around and open and close.


There are a couple of interesting details about this project. One is the use of Zdog to create the 3D folder models/animations. I found this pretty fun, but I am not entirely happy with how the animations are controlled within the React framework (I used useEffect to update the model parameters at a specific interval). Another thing I had to do was change the standard create-react-app project in order to facilitate hosting with GitHub pages. I needed change the name of the build folder, and use HashRouter rather than BrowserRouter (due to their being no server interactivity).

To change the name of the build folder, I created a file called .env in the root directory and added this line:

BUILD_PATH = "docs"

To use the HashRouter I used the following line at the top of the component that uses a Router:

import { HashRouter as Router, Route, Routes } from 'react-router-dom'

What I learned

The main thing I learned while making this website was how to use build tools in web development. I had previously only used plain JavaScript, HTML and CSS to develop for the web. I think React mostly quite intuitive, although I found the standard npx create-react-app to be pretty bloated for a beginner.