Personal website of designer/front-end developer Mike Gibson
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This is the code repo for the personal website of designer/front end developer Mike Gibson (that's me). This repo has been made public so that they can be shared with the community. When I began writing HTML and CSS I learned practically everything by viewing the source code of a site I liked, copying it, and changing things to see what happened. While we've gained developer tools in our browsers that help us wade through the source of websites more easily, modern best practices make it more difficult to learn from source than in the past. Public Github repos can be the new View Source.

You will find the Sass files (.scss syntax) at source > assets > stylesheets. The coffeescript files can be found at source > assets > javascripts and are using. All other files in the source folder (with the exception of feed.xml.builder, favicon.ico and .htaccess) are source files for generated pages, written in Haml.


To setup this site locally, you can follow these steps.

  1. Clone the repo to your local environment.
  2. Copy config.rb.template and rename it to config.rb. Update your paths, host, analytics ga.tracking_id, and deployment settings.
  3. Open up Terminal and cd into the directory where you cloned this repo.
  4. Run bundle install from the command line. If you are using RVM or RBENV, I'd suggest creating a unique gemset to avoid development conflicts with any other projects you are working on.
  5. Run middleman server to start the server.
  6. Load http://localhost:4567 in your browser to see the site.



There are a collection of tools that make developing this site easier. These will be installed when you run bundle install.


Middleman uses (YAML frontmatter)[] to pass variables and data through to the files as they are generated. Frontmatter is declared at the start of each file and is wrapped in ---.

key: value
another_key: another value

Common Middleman frontmatter keys include:

  • title: Page title as displayed on page, and in the browser tab
  • layout: A unique layout file to use
  • date: The date the page was published
  • tags: A comma separated list of tags. In the design section, these become "specialties" while in the blog they become "topics".

Additionally, I've added a handful of frontmatter keys in the templates that can be accessed.

  • description: Page description as shown in the meta tag and when the content is shared through sharing services.
  • name: A stand-in for the article's author, in case I ever include guest posts. This, right now, is only set to update the meta tag and be used in Twitter sharing cards.
  • fb_image: The image to display on Facebook cards when shared via Facebook.
  • twit_type: When creating a Twitter card, this option lets us determine if it's a summary or a large_image_summary.
  • twit_image: The image to display on Facebook cards when shared via Twitter.

Using the Middleman Title add on, the | Michael Gibson suffix is added to every page title. Currently, the stepped option in this add on is broken and can't be used on this site. It is something I plan on exploring.

In the design section, case studies can include additional frontmatter that is specific to those layouts. These are all optional.

  • url: Linked URL to where the live project can be viewed. Must include http://
  • hide_title: When set to true, this will surpress the title strip across the top of the page. That way I can use artwork or screenshots to introduce the project.
  • featured: When set to true, this will show up in the image list of projects.
  • thumbnail: Relative path, from source where the thumbnail for the image list can be found.

Custom Portfolio CSS

On work pages, you can use the :custom_styles block and an :scss filter to render out custom inline CSS for that page, as such.

frontmatter: here

- content_for :custom_styles do
    .selector {
      ... styles ...


The site is deployed using the Middleman Deploy add on. This add on offers many deployment options, but I'm just using simple SFTP (mostly because the other stuff confuses me). To deploy, you will need a host, and will need to update the deployment options in config.rb to push files to that host. Once set up, you can run the middleman deploy command from the project folder in the Terminal. Middleman will build and then deploy the built files to your server.


Code Cleanup

  • Re-examine patterns for better long term re-use
  • Refactor out !important madness
  • Rebuild Sample Images in Portfolio for new site
  • Verify Twitter Cards
  • Verify Facebook Cards
  • Sticky Footer (via Flexbox)

Blog Articles

  • new site optimizations
  • CMS Wrapup update (SS, CMS, MM)
  • Dev/Design integration
  • Fluid typography