Steven Van Bael

Freelance software developer

Back to basics: A minimalist website

This week I’ve come across some articles (links at the end) that made me pull the trigger on executing an idea I’ve been thinking about for a very long time: Rework my personal website to be as minimalist as it can be.

I have been dipping my toes into the minimalist lifestyle for a few years now but I have not yet fully committed to it in my digital life. This is about to change.

What is a website and what is its purpose?

One of the core principles in the minimalism movement is to get rid of useless clutter and focus on the essentials.

Before we can apply this principle onto a website, we need to know what the essential pieces of a website are. And in order to know that, we first need to define what a website is.

I like to use the following description:

A website is a body of content created or compiled by its owner to be consumed by its visitor.

Content is the keyword here and consuming it is the only reason why people are visiting. Anything else is just a distraction (advertisements, design elements, animations), or worse, an invasion of their privacy (user tracking).

So what did I do?

I opened up the jekyll project folder for this blog and started deleting everything that was not essential:

What is left?


That’s it. Just content.

And a tiny bit of inline CSS to limit the page width and wrap long lines to make the whole thing readable.

The endresult: A performant website that works in all browsers (even the funky text-only ones like Lynx) and focuses on the essential element: the content.

But what about the analytics?

This is a subject matter for another post but the short bullet version comes down to this:

The articles that inspired me

If you’re interested in minimalism check out