Sentinel: Your Web-Performance Watchman

A new focus, a new site

Written by on CSS Wizardry.

Table of Contents
  1. Featured case study: NHS

Almost a year ago, I decided I wanted to work for myself. Everything after that all happened so quickly that I never even got round to redesigning this website.

I’m a very pragmatic, product-led, agile-working developer, so I decided to put together a micro-site to handle a more business-oriented face onto the web: it would be far, far quicker to build something small and focused from scratch than it would have been—at the time—to redesign the whole site. That micro site has served me very well, and grew into a product in its own right. There are currently 184 commits against that one, single-page website alone!

A problem still existed, though: the majority of people hitting this site won’t land on the work micro-site at all, and the rest of CSS Wizardry was still just a blog. It wasn’t really the site of someone who owns a business.

I decided to spend a chunk of my birthday weekend redesigning CSS Wizardry around existing content, and making it a lot more business focussed. I designed it entirely in-browser around thoughts I’d been having for months. I wanted to demote the blog post listings on the homepage, and promote my business efforts in their place.

The main chunk of the redesign happened on the homepage, plus the addition of a Case Studies section to showcase notable work I’ve done for my consultancy clients. This section of the site is currently a little sparse, because:

  • Case studies are pretty intensive things to write up.
  • Two are pending sign-off from clients.

In keeping with my product-led approach to developing websites, this version in front of you right now is a work in progress. Bits are missing, bits might be a little wonky, and bits might even be broken, but it’s better to have ‘good enough’ live now rather than having ‘perfect’ live in six months’ time. I’ve made a good enough start on transitioning CSS Wizardry away from a personal blog and toward a business, and I can now spend the next six months honing and refining features as things change. Eventually I hope to sunset my Work page, and incorporate it into the main site, but that’s another job for another time. This is my MVP, and it currently fulfils its business requirements perfectly—everything else from here on in will likely be cosmetic tweaks and improvements.

Featured case study: NHS

How I helped the NHS rapidly build a brand new product.

Read case study…

This site isn’t finished or perfect—it never will be—but it’s certainly better than what I had. I made the decision to have a very intense sprint at getting the MVP out, and I can now spend more relaxed time improving and repositioning this site as a product over the coming months and years.

I have a public Trello board. detailing my outstanding tasks, and I would really appreciate any feedback and bug reports.

Did this help? We can do way more!

Hi there, I’m Harry Roberts. I am an award-winning Consultant Web Performance Engineer, designer, developer, writer, and speaker from the UK. I write, Tweet, speak, and share code about measuring and improving site-speed. You should hire me.

You can now find me on Mastodon.

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I specialise in large, product-based projects where performance, scalability, and maintainability are paramount.