How I created my blog using NextJS and tailwindCSS

Hello there...

First of all welcome to my blog and to my first Blog Post. In this article I am going to explain how I created this blog and why I decided to do it.

I've been thinking about creating a blog since a long time already but everytime I wanted to progress on it, I ended up watching netflix for hours: "Procrastination at it's finest". Okey, let's cut to the chase!

Why creating my own blog

I wanted to start blogging since quite some time. I wanted to share my thoughts, ideas and also share tips and tricks about several subjects. The subjects that I will be blogging about will go from technical tutorials, to travel and trips blog posts, to ideas about productivity and how to manage a community (I am the founder of BeJS: A JavaScript community in Belgium) and anything that will cross my mind and that I will think someone out there can relate to.

But why did I need to create my own blog? why not use, medium or the hundreds of different alternatives out there.
Well I was hesitant at first! But then I signed up for monica's lent newsletter and got convinced to start publishing on my own domain.

The main advantage of publishing on your own domain is that you control it and you own it. It is just you and your content, no one else. You can do whatever you want with it. Isn't that freedom at it's best? Also, if you're creating content for another platform, they can change their algorithm, lose their funding, suspend your account or whatever they like.

Second reason is that you will be able to create a mailing list and an audience (You will be able to use this later on for launching your products, or anything you like)

You learn new technologies, test others, and if you don't procrastinating you get to have a lot of fun while implementing it.

If you are new to coding and need to show up your skills you can use it as a code sample. Be creative, show off your technical skills and share that code with recruiters

There is probably way more reasons for creating your own blog, so do not hesitate to tell me what convinced you create your own blog!
Now enough with the why, let's get to the how

Choosing the tech stack

NextJS vs Gatsby

Being a fan of React I wanted to use React to build my blog this narrowed the possibilities to the two big names when it comes to SSG: (static site generation). Gatsby Vs NextJS!

I've been using gatsby for quite some time now, ( my company's website and website use gatsby) and I think it is a great tool and the ready to use plugins provided by the community make it so easy to bootstrap a blog in few seconds. However I've been founding it quite slow lately and I wanted to learn something new! I was also looking to learn NextJS because I am super hyped about Blitz.js the new React framework and It is built on top of Next. I think it will be an amazing framework and I would like to contribute to it in the future so I need to learn Next!

NOTE: From what I understood the blitz.js team will fork nextjs as their customizations are becoming pretty big so we need to keep an eye on that.

TailwindCSS vs CSS in JS!

well why not both! So I've been thinking about whether to use CSS in JS or tailwindCSS which became quite trendy lately and I could not decide! Luckily, on that late night I receive an email from Max stoiber the creator of a CSS in JS library called styled-components. In that newsletter he talked about twin.macro... A new CSS in JS library that came out and that support tailwindCSS. You can find the article here

I was quickly convinced and decided to give twin.macro a try and It has been great. With tailwind it's very easy to progress and create nice designs.


For those who do not know MDX: It is "Markdown for the component era" as they explain it themselves. It basically allows us to use markdown and jsx at the same time! we use it in my job for documentation with storybook and it's pretty easy to use and setup.
With the abundance of gatsby plugins provided for headless CMSs (wordpress, contentful...) it would be easy to use a CMS to create content for my blog.
Being a developer, I like my IDE and don't like leaving it for too long (unless it's to watch dumb netflix shows) So I decided to use MDX.


Another benefit of having your own blog: You discover your weaknesses! While developing this blog I felt horrible when trying to create a design and later trying to convert it to CSS. I was hesitant about everything, fighting with it, and searching on google every two seconds. So I decided to buy Joshua Comeau's course: CSS for JS devs and a book called: Refactoring UI. The plan is to redesign my blog once I finish those!

It does not matter what technology you use for your blog as long as you do it. Don't get me wrong! You don't have to start a blog if you don't like it: Some of the best developers I know don't have a blog. All I'm trying to say is that it is a proven way of progression on your career, and also on other levels as explained above.

If you already have a blog, I am curious to know what technology you used and why you decided to create your own blog! Come talk to me on twitter :)

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