Picture of Michael Lee

Consolidating resources

Written on June 24, 2020

Another project idea, another domain name, more things to manage.

Coming up with ideas for web projects is fun.

Finding a domain for the project is exhilarating.

But managing the resources to keep the project running, not so much.

As I pondered my latest project idea, I decided to take a pause and assess what I really needed to get it up and running.

Do I really need to purchase its own domain or can I put it somewhere more familiar?

When I asked myself this question, I began to wonder if I could just consolidate resources and put it under a single brand — michaelsoolee.com — my personal website.

The setup

My site is built using Jekyll. Most, if not all posts live as markdown files that in a GitHub repo.

With the new idea that I had, I didn’t need a web application, but it would be a place where I wrote about a very specific topic. I wanted to break it out into its own name because…well I came up with a cool name.

I’m not ready to share the details of the new project yet. But the idea of having multiple brands under my personal brand seemed appealing and I had a basic idea of how I could do it.

The set up would be to create sub-resource folders within my personal site for a sub-brand.

Currently the URL structure for my site is set up where all posts are a single level deep from the base URL, e.g. https://michaelsoolee.com/side-projects-pandemic/. In order to support a sub-brand, I’d just put it under a sub resource — michaelsoolee.com/new-idea/post-that-is-new-idea-specific/.

In setting things up like this, I could still use the top level for personal posts and use, while more specific topics could be grouped together in a sub-resource.

I suppose I could’ve tried using Jekyll’s categories feature, but I like the idea of being able to put brand specific posts into a sub-folder in my Jekyll project instead of having it live where all other posts live.

The test run

I wanted to test the idea out, so I took Spell It Out, a project that I had let ride into the metaphorical sunset — I let the domain expire — and decided to use its contents to test out my theory.

Spell It Out was a site that I had set up to spell out commonly used acronyms in the technology industry. Although the domain is gone — it was an awesome domain, spellitout.xyz — the idea wouldn’t fade away and so I thought it would be an excellent project to try to consolidate into michaelsoolee.com.

Still figuring it out

Spell It Out in its current form is quite messy, as I’m still figuring out how to organize the information in a single Jekyll project, but I’m happy about the decision. My next steps are to figure out how to have essentially two brands under a single domain but I feel like I’m on the right track.

If you’re like me and have also dealt with a ton of projects and resources in the past, how about merging them to a single resource? It might reduce complexity and breath new life into the project with a new home, yet familiar home.

Stay in touch

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to stay in touch and share more tips on programming and side projects with you. Sign up and I'll send you my articles straight to your email, you'll also get a free copy of the light themed version of my Git cheat sheet for free.
Git cheat sheet preview image