Creating The Front Royal Website, Part 2

I created the first draft of the Front Royal band site, but had to make some changes to the original design after realizing my mockups were too small in reality...

Mon, 20 Apr 2020 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

I really dropped the ball on this whole "blogging in real time" thing because the site is almost done.

In the first blog, I outlined my goals for the site with a screenshot of a few design ideas, and what stack I'll be using to build it.

Well, over that weekend, boredom got the best of me and I made the dang thing. We haven't bought a domain yet, so ignore the randomly-selected words that Netlify provided.

The Approach Pt. 2

To recap, I set out to make it a simple, single-page site with little bells and whistles. It was supposed to be:

  • Scrollable;
  • Navigable;
  • Simple.

And also cover:

  • Ability to stream music;
  • Real-time tour dates;
  • Links to our social media and newsletter;
  • Reusable components to make updates and new additions easier for me to code.

My Stack

The repository is fairly bare; aside from the CSS and image assets, it's an index page, a Netlify config, and a custom 404 page.

The Lighthouse performance score is nothing to write home about since I'm using three separate third-party widgets (Spotify for album embedding, bandsintown for tour dates, and Mailchimp for our newsletter signup form), but the site works and it only requires a single page to download.

The Design Pt. 2

Being a band, I figured listening to our music - our product - was most important. The very first section is our latest release with a Spotify embed for it, and links to our other albums.

I had to make some adjustments to Spotify's code to get the <iframe> to do what I wanted it to do, but I'm used to that by now.

.player {
margin: auto;
width: 100%;
}

.player__featured {
max-width: 300px;
}
<iframe
class="player player__featured"
src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/17q2Qwv2jqrhVaX8iWX5wm"
width="300"
height="320"
frameborder="0"
allowtransparency="true"
allow="encrypted-media"
title="These Things Happen Spotify player"
loading="lazy"
>
</iframe>

I put the bandsintown tour dates widget right after the music, which again required a small CSS adjustment.

.bit-widget .bit-no-dates-container {
padding: 5rem 0 !important;

It's sad to look at since it's so empty (we have no dates coming up), but it'll look great when things are back in motion.

Finally, I listed links out to our various social media and embedded a signup form for our newsletter that I also am in charge of.

Feelings Overall

Building websites is fun. I get chances to try new things I wouldn't normally do. In this case, I tried a new method for coding the main navigation on mobile and desktop.

There's a background image in the design, but the text got hard to read upon expanding the nav links on mobile. To get around that, I had to add some extra JavaScript to make sure the image remained the same and didn't expand to block the text.

/* these functions remove and toggle classes for properly styling the background image */
const openMenu = () => {
container.classList.remove("mobile-hide")
nav.classList.remove("menu__closed")
nav.classList.toggle("menu__open")
}

const closeMenu = () => {
container.classList.toggle("mobile-hide")
nav.classList.remove("menu__open")
nav.classList.toggle("menu__closed")
}

/* this does the work of opening or closing the menu */
const animateMenu = () => {
if (isEven(clickCount)) {
menu.innerHTML = x
openMenu()
} else if (isOdd(clickCount)) {
menu.innerHTML = bars
closeMenu()
}
clickCount++
}

/* look for that magic click */
open.addEventListener("click", animateMenu)

Making easily reusable sections got me thinking about how I could rework this very site you're reading right now. This past weekend, I did that too.

So, check out the Front Royal site, tell me where I could do better, and give us a listen. Maybe tell your friends about us too.

Webmentions

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